GSK. GSKis investing EUR 250 million ($335 million) in its production site at Currabinny, County Cork, Ireland, through 2012 to
support production for lapatinib, the API in "Tykerb," a new oral treatment for breast cancer.
In biologics, GSK announced several projects for vaccine production. It is investing £100 million ($200 million) for a vaccine-manufacturing
plant in Singapore for the primary production of pediatric vaccines. GSK also is investing more than EUR 500 million ($680
million) in its St-Amand-Les-Eaux, France, vaccine-manufacturing plant to increase formulation, filling, freeze-drying, and
packaging production. The facility is expected to be operational in 2011 and will produce vaccine for cervical cancer, meningitis,
pneumonia, and influenza. Also, GSK opened an EUR 100-million ($136-million) primary production facility in Gödöllö, Hungary,
for manufacturing diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis antigens used in several pediatric vaccine combinations.
In April, GSK completed a 30,000-ft2 expansion of its Aiken, South Carolina, manufacturing facility to improve capacity in several processes such as dry-powder
blending, tablet compression, tablet coating, and tablet printing.
Sanofi-Aventis. Like other pharmaceutical majors, Sanofi-Aventis is reducing its manufacturing network. The company plans to close its manufacturing
site in Waterford, Ireland, according to news reports. The plant manufactures mature and over-the-counter products, including
"Essentiale" and "Flagyl." The manufacture of these two products will be taken over by Sanofi plants in France and Germany.
The Waterford plant is expected to close by the end of the year.
Sanofi is building a $160-million vaccine-manufacturing facility in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania, which will double its US production
capacity. Sanofi also is investing EUR 160 million for a formulation-filling facility in Val de Reuil, France, and will expand
cell-culture based virology production at its facility in Marcy l'Etoile, France.
In March 2006, Sanofi-Aventis acquired an additional 25% stake in Zentiva for EUR 430 million ($577 million), becoming that
company's largest shareholder. Zentiva is a pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, and markets branded, low-cost
pharmaceutical products. The company employs nearly 5000 people and has manufacturing plants in the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Novartis. Novartis is building a cell-culture-derived influenza-vaccines manufacturing plant in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Novartis
will spend approximately $600 million, including a $220-million award from the US Department of Health and Human Services,
to complete the site. The plant is expected to produce about 50 million doses of seasonal trivalent flu vaccines annually
for the US market. The site also is designed to produce 150 million monovalent vaccine doses annually within six months of
an influenza-pandemic declaration. In parallel, Novartis is making additional investments to expand capacity for flu cell-culture
vaccine production in Marburg, Germany.
In 2006, Novartis invested approximately $101 million to expand capacity at its Grimsby, United Kingdom, production facility
to support the technical launch of its blood-pressure medicine "Tekturna–Rasilez" (aliskiren). In addition, the company invested
$58 million to fund a chemical-operations production facility in China to support early-phase development activities and more
than $61 million to construct a new pharmaceuticals plant in Singapore.
AstraZeneca. Earlier this year, AstraZeneca announced a new productivity initiative to improve asset utilization in production operations.
The plan, which will be implemented during the next three years, involves the rationalization of production assets and a proposed
reduction of approximately 3000 positions, subject to requisite employee consultations.
As part of this global restructuring effort, AstraZeneca announced plans to exit its Plakstadt, Germany, and Mississauga,
Canada, sites. The plan for Plankstadt, which is used for bulk production, formulation, and packaging and currently employs
400, is to either close or sell the site by the end of 2009. Products currently manufactured at the site include "Casodex"
(bicalutamide), "Zoming" (zolmitriptan), "Crestor" (rosuvastatin), and "Tenormin" (atenolol). The Mississauga packaging facility
will close within the next 18 months, affecting approximately 120 employees.