GlaxoSmithKline is in talks with a number of companies interested in buying its Romanian manufacturing facility that was recently earmarked for closure.
The facility in Brasov is GSK’s “only manufacturing site in Romania,” GSK spokesperson Kalpesh Joshi told in-Pharmatechnologist.com, but the company announced in June it was closing the facility due to an assessment of its oral solid dose manufacturing network.
Joshi said Brasov had been under-utilised as a site, was “not sustainable in the long run” and therefore the company gave a period of six months to search for a buyer.
Three months into this process Joshi told us GSK was in talks with several firms: “I can’t provide specifics but we have had discussions with a mixture of local and international investors.”
According to the company’s website , the factory in Brasov makes 16 brands of drugs for both the local and international markets which, according to Joshi, will be transferred to other sites across GSK’s network.
GSK acquired the facility when it took over local manufacturer Europharm in 1998 and has since invested over $106m (€80m) into the site which employs approximately 240 people.
If no buyer is found, operations are set to wind down with production ceasing by the second half of 2015.
The decision to shutter the site had “nothing to do with the performance of the plant in Brasov,” said Pascal Prigent, Director General GSK Romania, in a translated statement from June . “The decision comes following a wave of expired patents [that] has led to excess capacity on oral solid forms.”
The patent cliff, over-capacity and network reviews are affecting manufacturing for a number of Big Pharma firms. Pfizer, for example, has put its Little Island, Ireland manufacturing site up for sale following the expiration of the drug Lipitor.
Merck & Co. recently announced it was shuttering an API plant - also in Ireland – as part of an “ongoing review of its worldwide manufacturing facilities.”