Evaluating the Pieces in Big Pharma's Manufacturing Investments - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Evaluating the Pieces in Big Pharma's Manufacturing Investments
The pharmaceutical majors target biologics and emerging markets in their manufacturing expansion activities and plans.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 37, Issue 8, pp. 38-41


Günay Mutlu/Getty Images
The pharmaceutical majors target biologics and emerging markets in their manufacturing expansion activities and plans.

Restructuring and manufacturing rationalization have been the recent norm for large bio/pharmaceutical companies. Despite such cost-cutting, particularly in small-molecule API and solid-dosage operations, there are some bright spots. A review of leading companies (see Tables I and II) show key trends. Several Big Pharma players are investing in biologic drug-substance, vaccine, and parenteral drug manufacturing and are also making select investments in emerging markets.

Company activity
Pfizer. Pfizer is investing $130 million in two of its Irish manufacturing sites: $100 million at its Grange Castle site in Dublin and $30 million in the Ringaskiddy site in Cork, according to a July 11, 2013 press release from IDA Ireland, Ireland’s industrial development agency. The $100-million investment in Grange Castle is for additional mammalian-cell manufacturing capacity with the addition of a new production line, scheduled to be operational in 2015, when the first process validation batches will be made. In 2011, Pfizer invested $200 million in the Grange Castle site to develop a new suite to expand the manufacturing process for an invasive pneumococcal vaccine, according to IDA.

Bristol-Myers Squibb. Bristol-Myers Squibb is spending approximately $250 million to expand its large-scale biologics manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts. The expansion will introduce biologics development and clinical-trial manufacturing capabilities to the site while adding approximately 350 employees. The Devens site is home to the company’s large-scale bulk biologic manufacturing facility. Construction of the Devens site was completed in 2009. It was the company’s largest single capital investment ($750 million) and provided the company with large-scale bulk biologics production capacity. In May 2012, the company received FDA approval to manufacture its arthritis drug Orencia (abatacept) at the Devens facility. The new $250-million investment will be used to construct two new buildings: one for process development and one for clinical manufacturing. Together, the two buildings will add approximately 200,000 ft2 of laboratory and office space to the Devens site.

Bristol-Myers Squibb also announced plans to locate a North America Capability Center in Tampa, Florida, according to a July 18, 2013 press release from the Office of the Governor of Florida. The 70,000-ft2 facility will open in January 2014 with approximately 250 employees with plans to add more than 325 additional jobs supporting scientific and technical activities at the site by 2017.


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