Major pharmaceutical and generics players are continuing to invest in plants for the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients, with Pfizer, Ivax, Berlex and Protein Design Labs all announcing new ventures in the last few days.
Pfizer has become the second drug major to open a new facility in Singapore in as many weeks, and is already planning an expansion programme for the unit that it sees as a springboard into Asian markets.
Pfizer Asia Pacific has spent SGD 600 million (€284m) on the plant, its first large-scale facility in Asia. It currently manufactures the APIs gabapentin and pregabalin, which are used in the treatment of epilepsy and certain forms of neuropathic pain. The site will be expanded as the company's sales of these drugs ramp up in Asia.
Meanwhile, generics major IVAX has acquired a manufacturing facility at Calzada del Hueso in Mexico, situated near to the firm's existing operations in the region.
IVAX said it plans to use the site for the production of cephalosporins, hormones, oncologic, and biotechnology drugs in the form of solids, liquids, injectables, creams and ointments, it noted.
According to the US firm, Mexico is a potentially important market for the company and the Calzada del Hueso facility will substantially increase its manufacturing capacity in this territory. With modernisation, it can be used to manufacture products to be sold on the US and European markets, as well as in other countries in Latin America.
The Calzada del Hueso complex was previously owned by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and is comprised of more than 160,000 square feet of manufacturing, laboratory, office and warehouse space, IVAX noted.
Berlex , the US-based affiliate of German drugmaker Schering, is planning to sink around $60 million (€48m) into the construction of a commercial manufacturing supply centre for biopharmaceuticals in Lynnwood, Washington.
David Carlson, Berlex' vice president, biologics manufacturing and logistics, said: "The first phase of the new centre will ensure that we can provide an increasing supply of Leukine (sargramostim) for current markets in cancer care and a potential new market, a global market, as a treatment for Crohn's disease."
Finally, Protein Design Labs will open its new $200 million plant in Minnesota, US, in the next few days. The biotech drug developer will add 100 employees to its current staff of 180 as the facility goes through the regulatory approval process. The 210,000-square-foot plant will be Minnesota's first biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility.