in-PharmaTechnologist.com's periodic round-up of developments in the pharmaceutical manufacturing space includes news of two new production plants, one R&D facility and the closure of a manufacturing site.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to expand its over-the-counter manufacturing facility in Dangarvan, Ireland. The firm will invest around €30m to establish a new manufacturing unit to produce an as yet unidentified smoking cessation product for markets outside North America.
Plans for the new unit were announced by Ireland's minister for social and family affairs Martin Cullen. He was visiting the County Wexford site to open a recently completed €23m granulation and production unit. Cullen said that the new investment would create around 50 new jobs in functions ranging from production, to quality assurance and engineering.
At present the site, which employs almost 700 staff, manufactures OTC brands such as Panadol, Coldrex and Solpadeine. In addition, GSK's Oral Care unit, which is also based in Dungarvan, produces denture care brands such as Polident, Poligrip and Corega.
Genyzme plans to construct a new R&D facility in the Chinese capital Beijing. The move is part of the US biotechnology firm's global expansion programme that last week saw it invest €130m in its manufacturing facility in Waterford, Ireland.
The new Chinese facility, which will cost around $90m, is designed to establish a long-term presence in the country. Genzyme said that the site will be used to carry out research in the fields of transplantation, immunology, orthopaedics, oncology, cardiovascular disease and endocrinology and is expected to employ a staff of around 350 people when it is opened in 2010.
Canada's Microbix Biosystems has completed the purchase of a new virology manufacturing plant in Toronto. The site will manufacture the firm's range of virology products including Urokinase, Virusmax and its Semen Sexing Technology kits.
Microbix' CEO, William Gastle, said that the acquisition is "part of our growth plan and we're pleased to have achieved this particular milestone because it will ensure that Micobix continues to meet the steadily growing demand for its virology products."
Eastman Chemical Company
Eastman Chemical is to close its manufacturing site in Anglesey, Wales and is ceasing production of the Vitamin E TPGS (d-alpha-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate) excipient that is current synthesised at the facility.
Eastman said that the site no longer fits with its corporate strategy and, following consultation with employees at the factory, has decided to decommission the facility before the end of the year. The firm also said that it would provide a transitional supply to its existing customers, based on historical orders.
The product has been traditionally used as a drug solubiliser and a bioavailability enhancer in medicines such as GlaxoSmithKline's HIV protease inhibitor Agenerase (amprenavir).
China's Suzhou Textiles Silk Light Industrial Products Arts and Crafts I/E company has been supplying Vitamin E TPGS to the pharmaceutical industry since 2001