Wacker expands cyclodextrin capacity

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmaceutical industry

Wacker has brought its expanded cyclodextrin facility online following its $21m (€15m) expansion, which has significantly increased capacity in response to growing demand for the excipient.

Cyclodextrins have applications as stabilisers and excipients in the pharma industry, with their structures enabling them to bind ingredients, release active agents and stabilise sensitive substances.

To meet rising demand Wacker has invested $21m in its Eddyville, Iowa, US facility, boosting capacity for alpha and beta cyclodextrins by 50 per cent and doubling its output of the gamma version.

Gerhard Schmid, president of Wacker Fine Chemicals, said: “Eddyville’s expansion program is a further step toward strengthening our position as global market leader for cyclodextrins. Thanks to the site’s expansion, we are now well positioned to not only reflect global market and demand trends, but also to meet growing customer needs​.”

The expanded facility will be capable of producing 7,500 metric tons of cyclodextrin a year and includes a byproduct-processing plant that will cut steam use by 35 per cent.

Boosting biologics

Wacker has also opened a new process development building dedicated to the production of proteins for use in the pharmaceutical sector.

The facility in Jena, Germany covers 1,700 m sq and now has the capacity to produce double-digit gram quantities of highly pure proteins for preclinical use.

Another expansion of the Jena site, which will double production capacity in the existing good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliant plant and add a downstream purification site, is expected to be complete in early 2010.

After completion of the expansion Wacker believes that it will have “sufficient capacity for commercial production of biopharmaceuticals right at the advanced development stage​”.

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