Fermion Oy – a subsidiary of Orion Corporation – has opened an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility in Finland to support its own products in clinical development, as well as marketed products such as anti-rejection drug azathioprine.
According to Fermion Oy president Arto Toivonen, the facility will also manufacture APIs for export: “More or less all the APIs produced in our Hanko plant are exported either as APIs or within the finished dosage forms of Orion. Our main markets are the US and Europe.”
APIs will also be exported to India, where production costs are “significantly lower than in Finland,” according to the firm.
“India, of course, is an important supplier of pharmaceuticals and there is a strong API supplier base, too. Fermion’s APIs are typically niche API products and we have seen growing demand for these also in India,” said Toivonen.
Fermion initiated construction of the plant in 2016 to replace the oldest manufacturing site in its network. The firm expects the €30m ($33m) investment to increase capacity by approximately 50% - up to 300 tonnes annually.
The site houses 240m³ reactor capacity, fully automated API production capabilities, and a separate micronisation area. The new facilities add 76m³ additional reactor capacity, 25m³ of which is dedicated to highly potent APIs.
Highly potent APIs (HPAPIs) have been attracting increased attention from third-party contractors and suppliers. In February this year, Lonza announced plans to increase its HPAPI encapsulation capacity in Tampa, Florida, and the following month, Spanish contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Idifarma increased its spray drying services for highly potent drugs.
Last month, Sterling Pharma Solutions also said healthy demand for HPAPIs was driving expansion at its UK site.