Aprecia announced the deal last week, explaining that the Forest facility in Blue Ash, Ohio will serve as base of operations for production of fast dissolve drug formulations using three-dimensional printing technology.
CEO Don Wetherhold said: "The facility has ample space to accommodate our proprietary manufacturing machines and equipment assemblies in the capacity necessary to achieve our projected commercial production volumes well into the future."
Aprecia says it will invest $25m in facility and create 150 jobs, which will earn it a 55% tax credit recently introduced in the State.
3D printing – also known as additive manufacturing – involves using a digital model to guide the successive deposition of material to form an object. The technique is being considered for a wide range of applications – from gun manufacturing to pizza production in space.
Drug manufacture is another potential use. In Aprecia’s case, 3D printing is an integral part of the firm's ZipDose delivery technology, which is designed to create tablets that dissolve and release their active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) much more quickly than existing fast-melt pills.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted the first drug that uses the technology for review in December.
Jennifer Zieverink, senior director of alliance managment at Aprecia, told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: "The product, of which we anticipate FDA approval, will be manufactured in the Blue Ash facility."
Aprecia signed a commercialisation deal with inVentiv Health last June. According to Zieverink "inVentiv Health will serve as the sales force for ZipDose products for a contracted period of time, Aprecia will maintain title of the products.
"Aprecia will supply sales representatives with live samples and ZipDose demonstrators [made at the new facility] as part of the field force deployment initiative."
Blue Ash, Forest
The facility Aprecia is leasing was previously owned by US drugmaker Forest Labs, which build it for $45m in 2013.
The site was due to serve as a packaging, warehousing and testing facility for Forest, however, when the firm was bought by Actavis a year later it was deemed unnecessary and mothballed without ever being operational.
At the end of 2014 the site was sold to Cincinnati United Contractors for $14m.