KS Avicenna, the Canadian unit of KS Biomedix of the UK, launched a newly expanded contract biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Canada, to service both North American and European clients, at the start of the BIO 2003 meeting, held 22-25 June in Washington DC, USA.
The current Good Manufacturing Practice facility complies with both US and EU biopharmaceutical regulations and is already manufacturing an oncology product for KS Biomedix, called TransMID, which will shortly enter Phase III trials for inoperable malignant brain tumours.
Steven Powell, KS Biomedix' chief executive, said: "KS Avicenna is a key strategic asset for KS Biomedix, as biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing demand is expected to grow at 15 to 20 per cent per year and a significant capacity shortage is anticipated by 2006, particularly in Canada."
KS Avicenna provides fermentation-based manufacturing of biologics, and can also undertake most aspects of downstream processing and purification, according to the firm. It will initially focus on process optimisation and provision of small-scale batches of material suitable for clinical trials, an area in which there is a severe shortage of biopharmaceutical manufacturing capacity.
In addition, KS Avicenna says it will undertake fee-for-service contract manufacturing as well as consider joint venture and product development opportunities.
In recent months, the company has concentrated on building a management team with experience in the North American pharmaceutical industry and in the contract manufacturing sector to complement its existing presence in Europe.
David Cox, KS Avicenna's chief executive, commented: "Having invested in the company's infrastructure over the last year, we are now ready to provide a quality service to our customers." The aim is to be the supplier of choice for biologics companies with small scale manufacturing needs, he continued.