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Novasep to invest in purification-based manufacturing; opens China plant

By Gareth MacDonald+

27-Mar-2012

Novasep says it may invest in active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) bioproduction and purification technology citing growing industry demand.

The comments follow Novasep’s announcement last week that it has €40m ($53m) to spend on expansion projects after completing a €310m refinancing round that involved France’s strategic investment fund – the Fonds Stratégique d'Investissement (FSI) – and investment group Azulis.

A spokeswoman told in-pharmatechnologist.com that while precise investment plans are not being disclosed “API contract manufacturing, biopharmaceutical manufacturing, as well as purification technology development may benefit.”

She added that: “Novasep has decided to focus its market positioning on purification-based manufacturing,” citing management’s belief that the increasing complexity of life science molecules will drive demand for this type of contracting. 

A good example is HPAPIs, where the manufacturing of these molecules requires the combination of synthesis and purification in confined areas. With its large HPAPI capabilities in a SafeBridge certified facility [in Le Mans], combining synthesis and chromatographic purification, Novasep is well positioned in the world competition.

She also confirmed that Novasep is hiring additional staff at a number of facilities but did not go into detail.

China expansion

In other news, Novasep has opened an expanded facility in China, again citing growing demand for APIs and biopharmaceutical manufacturing - as well as the expansion of the region's food production industry - as a motivation for the investment.

The plant – in Shanghai’s Pudong district – has operated since 2006 as a regional hub for Novasep’s biotech unit – which produces sugars, sweeteners, bulk antibiotics, functional ingredients and omega 3 - as well as its biopharmaceutical and drug actives manufacturing operations.

Novasep said that the expanded plant – which now houses 2002 sqm of production capacity - will boost process development and engineering capabilities to cater for ever-increasing Chinese and East Asian demand.

Jean de Lataillade, general manager of Novasep Asia said: “The Shanghai site will further enable Novasep to compete globally in both low volume pharma markets, as well as large volume industrial biotech markets.

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