The deal – financial terms of which were not provided – will Daiichi sell the plant in Akita to fellow Japanese firm Alfresa Pharma Corporation, which is investing to expand its pharmaceutical industry business beyond its current focus on solid dosage form production.
Daiichi said the decision to sell the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility – one of five it owns in the country – followed a “comprehensive inspection focused on building a globally competitive production system.”
It added that the deal is expected to complete on April 1, 2015 and said the 100 workers currently employed at the 260,00sqm facility – which produces around 300 tons of APIs a year – will “in principle” continue to work at the site.
After the sale Alfresa will continue to make Daiichi pharmaceutical products at the Akita site “using the same equipment and quality assurance system as before” according to the Japanese drugmaker.
Daiichi announced the sale along with details of a wider reorganisation its manufacturing business that it has been planning since 2012.
The new organisation will combine the firm’s three subsidiaries – Daichii Sankyo Propharma, Daiichi Sankyo Chemical and Daiichi Sankyo Logistics – into two units, one of which will make APIs with the other unit making finished dosage forms and providing logistics services.
The new API business, which is expected to be fully operational next April, will run drug ingredient manufacturing plants in Hiratsuka, Tatebayshi, Onahama and Odwara for both Daiichi products and on a contractual basis.
The latter facility used to operate as two adjacent plants producing both APIs like olmesartan and loxoprofen, intermediates and finished drugs. However, according to an announcement in 2012, Daiichi said combining the units into one operation made more sense.
“Since the two plants are located next to each other and manufacture intermediates and API for overlapping products, Daiichi Sankyo plans to integrate them into one plant in April 2013 in order to build a consistently high quality and efficient system of manufacturing from intermediates to API while utilizing scientific research capabilities to enhance the manufacturing technology infrastructure.”