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Pharma Capsules
Brief pharmaceutical news items for January 2009.

Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 33, Issue 1

Milestones

Patheon Opens New US Headquarters

Patheon (Durham, NC), a global provider of drug development and manufacturing services to the international pharmaceutical industry, opened its new US headquarters and analytical laboratories in the vicinity of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Patheon's new pharmaceutical development laboratory will support the company's current US-based pharmaceutical development operations in Cincinnati, Ohio, and initially will offer stability studies, validation testing, and analytical chemistry services.

Nelson Laboratories Invests in Facilities

The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) Board offered a postperformance incentive of $1,996,600 to Nelson Laboratories (Salt Lake City, UT). The company will invest more than $13 million to expand its facilities and purchase new equipment at its headquarters. The project will generate more than 350 new full-time positions.

"Our decision to further expand our testing capabilities in Utah is based on our ability to access world class talent, as well as the important partnerships we have developed in the state," according to Jeff Nelson, the company's president and chief executive officer. GOED, the Utah Technology Council, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah cooperated to promote the expansion.

3M Licenses Inhaler Technology from Cambridge

3M Drug Delivery Systems (St. Paul, MN) signed an exclusive technology license and purchase agreement with Cambridge Consultants (Cambridge, England, UK) for its "Conix" dry-powder inhaler (DPI) technology platform. The Conix DPI technology, also called reverse-flow cyclone technology, adds to 3M's extensive inhalation technology platform.

The Conix technology platform includes various inhaler types, ranging from a single-dose device suitable for applications such as immunizations to a multiunit dose suitable for routine therapies such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

NewAge Industries Celebrates 55 Years

NewAge Industries (Southampton, PA) marks its 55th anniversary in 2009. The company manufactures plastic and rubber tubing and hose for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical, chemical, laboratory, and packaging industries.

NewAge has expanded its manufacturing facilities and capabilities, introduced several new products for its high purity AdvantaPure division, and developed new ways to enhance customer service and support since celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2004.

Q&A With:
Paul Johnson, president and chief operating officer of DPT Labs (San Antonio, TX)

PharmTech:


Paul Johnson
What is the biggest industry challenge you're now facing?

Johnson:

Matching capacity and resources to demand is the biggest challenge our industry faces on an ongoing basis. This challenge will become more difficult over the next six to 12 months because of the uncertainties in the economy. We have seen several customers pull back on spending, essentially sitting on the sidelines until they have a better view of what is going to happen. We believe the pullback may dramatically affect the first half of 2009 and demand will pick up thereafter. Importantly for us, while we have to be smart in controlling our own expenses, we have to be equally smart in not making negative long-term decisions because of short-term economic circumstances.

PharmTech:

How do you stay abreast of new developments in the industry?

Johnson:

Many new industry developments that we end up acting on are customer-driven. We have the benefit of being in an industry where we can stay close to our customers because our customer base is relatively small. We conduct primary market research and attend conferences to keep track of new developments. Ultimately, when we see a cluster of customers begin to develop new technologies—say, use a new delivery system, for example—we will assess internally whether we should invest the capital to gain that new capability.

PharmTech:

Do you see a new industry trend emerging?

Johnson:

Big pharmaceutical companies are considering strategic outsourcing of development and manufacturing more than ever before. In addition, there has been a significant emergence of small pharma—that is, start-up, venture-backed companies that handle early development work on new pharmaceutical products. Both of these trends have increased the need for service providers that offer comprehensive product development and commercial manufacturing services under one roof. We consider these types of organizations contract development and manufacturing organizations and believe they add great intrinsic value to the overall pharmaceutical industry.

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