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Pharmaceutical manufacturing: news in brief

By staff reporter , 17-Jan-2008

In-PharmaTechnologist.com brings you a selection of recent headlines from around the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

SEC documents filed by US firm Cephalon this week revealed that the company has initiated a restructuring plan, which includes the closure of its Eden Prairie facility.

 

 

The restructuring scheme involves transitioning manufacturing activities from the Cima Labs facility in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, to the company's recently expanded site in Salt Lake City, Utah. Certain drug delivery R&D activities currently performed at Salt Lake City will now also be consolidated at Cima's Brooklyn Park facility in Minnesota.

 

 

 

The transition of manufacturing activities and the closure of the Eden Prairie site is expected to be completed within two to three years, and the R&D consolidation should be finished by the end of this year.

 

 

 

Approximately 90 jobs are likely to go as part of the restructuring, with around 170 net jobs to go at Cima and around 80 net jobs in Salt Lake City.

 

 

 

The estimated pretax costs of the plan are likely to be in the region of $34m - $47m.

 

 

 

DelSite Biotechnologies announced some good news this week, with the successful completion of preclinical toxicology studies of its GelVac nasal powder flu vaccine.

 

 

Successful toxicology studies in two animal models using the H5N1 antigen were needed to go ahead with a planned Phase I clinical trial later this year.

 

 

 

According to parent company Carrington Laboratories, the vaccine candidate is believed to be the only nasal powder vaccine under development that, if approved, could be shipped without refrigeration to people's home and self-administered in the event of an avian flu pandemic.

 

 

 

Protalix BioTherapeutics has signed a lease agreement for the expansion of its manufacturing and research facility in Carmiel, Israel.

 

 

The expanded space will triple the firm's current manufacturing space, in anticipation of the potential commercialisation of the company's lead product candidate, prGCD, a therapeutic protein for the treatment of Gaucher disease.

 

 

 

"Our expanded facility will provide us with the space and capacity required to bring prGCD to market and meet the anticipated demand for the drug following its anticipated approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration, while continuing to advance the research of the additional product candidates in our development pipeline," said Protalix CFO, Yossi Maimon.

 

 

 

UK firm Galpharm Healthcare was recently acquired by Perrigo for $86m in cash.

 

 

Galpharm is a supplier of over-the-counter (OTC) store-brand pharmaceutical products in the UK, and the acquisition is expected to contribute to Perrigo's sales by over $55m a year.

 

 

 

Processing specialist ATMI also recently announced acquisition with the $27m purchase of LevTech, a market leading provider of disposable mixing technologies.

 

 

LevTech will be combined with ATMI's existing life sciences business focused on single-use bioprocess containers and processes for the biopharmaceutical industry.

 

 

 

ATMI has served the semiconductor industry with single-use containers since 1987, moving into biopharmaceuticals in 1999. The LevTech purchase is hoped to help the firm further establish itself as a leader in comprehensive disposable systems for the biopharma industry.

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