Contract API manufacturers and fine-chemical producers gathered at Informex, the annual trade show of custom and batch manufacturers,
in New Orleans in February. Companies used the show to highlight recent capacity and service expansions as well acquisitions.
These investments reflect targeted moves to increase capacity in specialized areas, such as high-potency manufacturing, diversification
into non-API areas, such as formulation development, finished product manufacturing, and testing, as well as partnering with
other providers to broaden service offerings and capabilities.
Patricia Van Arnum
Several CMOs highlighted recent expansions in high-potency manufacturing. Aesica opened a new purpose-built $4.6-million high-potency
manufacturing facility for the manufacture of formulated products and plans to upgrade its API manufacturing facilities to
enable manufacture of high-potency APIs at commercial scale. The upgrade will allow Aesica to manufacture SafeBridge Category
3 APIs and formulated products from pilot to commercial scale from two of its sites in Europe. The new facilities will enable
Aesica to manage high-potency API production at quantities from 1–200 kg. Further investment in API manufacturing capability
in 2013 will equip Aesica to produce batch sizes up to 600 kg.
Helsinn Advanced Synthesis reported on its cytotoxic and high-potency manufacturing facilities in Biasca, Switzerland, and
multiyear expansions in this area. The company's capabilities include pilot-scale, small-scale, and commercial-scale capabilities
for manufacturing highly potent APIs. Its cytotoxic capabilities include isolated and dedicated cytotoxic quality control
and R&D laboratories, raw-materials and finished-goods warehousing, and finishing and sampling areas. A new laboratory has
been constructed exclusively for small-scale cytotoxic production, design of experiment, and initial process development.
The company also has pilot-scale, small-scale, and commercial-scale capabilities for manufacturing cytotoxic small molecules.
Evonik recently opened a new laboratory at its site in Hanau, Germany, for highly potent APIs and expanded its cGMP capacity
for highly potent APIs on a kilogram scale at its Tippecanoe facility in Lafayette, Indiana. The new laboratory allows Evonik
to develop and optimize syntheses for highly potent APIs in Germany. At the US site, Evonik has similar laboratory installations,
expanding capacity with a reactor volume for highly potent compounds totaling 170 m3.
Fermion has invested in a new high-potency facility capable of handling OEL Class V compounds. The company added 10 m3 of additional high-potency manufacturing capacity with reactors ranging in volume from 70 L to 1500 L. The construction
of this facility began in mid-2011 and the finished plant was scheduled to come on line in March 2012. By the fall of 2012,
additional improvements will allow hydrogenation reactions to be undertaken at the facility.
Almac is doubling analytical capacity at its 240,000-ft2 North American headquarters in Souderton, Pennsylvania. The facility offers full-service, integrated clinical packaging,
drug-supply management, and technology services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. Almac's additional laboratory
investment will include polymorph and salt screening and solid-form development. The new facility is also equipped with a
bathless dissolution apparatus for comparative dissolution studies.
In addition to API and chemical development services, Almac provides formulation development and solid-dosage manufacturing
for clinical-trial materials and commercial manufacturing and related services. The company recently acquired two new pieces
of encapsulation equipment for its North American headquarters in Souderton, Pennsylvania: the Bosch GKF 702 capsule filler
with integrated KKE 1700 checkweigher. The Bosch cGMP-compliant system is able to produce 42,000 capsules per hour compared
to the 2700–4500 output of Almac's current machine in the United States. Further capabilities of the new equipment include
powder, pellet, tablet, and placebo fill as well as multifill.
Asymchem Laboratories (Tianjin) reported on the opening its new large-scale manufacturing facility, Jilin Asymchem Laboratories,
in Dunhua, Jilin province, China. Phase I completion of Dunhua's manufacturing facility included 5000–20,000 L vessels for
cGMP manufacture of raw materials to intermediates. Phase II involved completion of a second module for a total capacity of
532 m3. This site offers manufacturing as a standalone service and also back-integration for internal downstream cGMP targets to
be further processed in Asymchem's Tianjin 2 GMP facility. Phase III construction in Dunhua for a GMP API manufacturing plant
is on schedule and is expected to be completed later this year.