Pharmaceutical Technology's Manufacturers' Rankings - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Pharmaceutical Technology's Manufacturers' Rankings
Pharmaceutical Technology&s Annual Manufacturers' Rankings provides perspectives on revenues, product positioning, R&D spending, pharmaceutical manufacturing activity, and capital projects of the major drug companies.

Pharmaceutical Technology

AstraZeneca's operations in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and the United States also will undergo staff reductions. About 700 job cuts will be phased in during the next three years at its plant in Macclesfield, Cheshire, United Kingdom. At its Södertälje, Sweden, facility, 850 jobs cuts are anticipated. Södertälje is AstraZeneca's largest production site and employs roughly 4500 workers. The job cuts are scheduled to take place during 2008 and 2009, with full effect by 2010. In addition, 450 jobs at the Swedish manufacturing site will be cut in 2007 as part of a previously announced reduction.

AstraZeneca's US operations announced plans for a 400–450-person headcount reduction by 2010 to support its goal of improving productivity by 25–30%.

AstraZeneca opened a $32-million tablet factory near Cairo, Egypt, in December 2006, representing its first manufacturing investment in the Middle East. The new facility began production this year. The 7000-m2 plant has three production lines with an annual capacity of 250 million tablets that could be expanded to 400 million tablets.

AstraZeneca will close its formulation and packaging plant in Pandaan, Surabaya, Indonesia, this year. Also, in 2007, AstraZeneca opened a new $15-million, 8000-m2 process R&D laboratory at its R&D center in Bangalore, India.

J&J. In addition to the facilities gained with its $16.6-billion acquisition of Pfizer's consumer healthcare business, J&J started the construction in April 2007 of a new building on its Spring House, Pennsylvania, campus to add approximately 150,000 ft2 in new laboratory, clinical development, and office space to its existing facilities. The site will become Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development's East Coast hub for discovery research and early clinical development upon its completion in 2009.

Merck. Merck & Co. is continuing its global-manufacturing restructuring program, first announced in late 2005, under which it plans to close or sell five of its 31 manufacturing facilities and two preclinical sites by the end of 2008. The manufacturing sites to be rationalized are located in Ponders End, United Kingdom; Okazaki, Japan; Kirkland, Quebec, Canada; Albany, Georgia; and Danville, Pennsylvania. By the end of 2006, Merck had sold its bulk manufacturing facility in Ponders End to the contract manufacturing organization Aesica (Cramlington, UK), exited manufacturing sites in Okazaki, Japan, and Kirkland, Canada, and exited two preclinical sites in Okazaki and Menuma, Japan. With this restructuring, Merck eliminated 4800 positions companywide by the end of 2006 as part of an overall plan to reduce its workforce by 7000 by the end of 2008.

While it is rationalizing certain facilities, Merck is proceeding with investments in vaccine production. The company invested $300 million to construct a 272,000-ft2 vaccine-production plant in Durham, North Carolina. The plant is scheduled to be complete and operational by the first quarter of 2008. Following validation, the first vaccines should be available by the first quarter of 2009. The plant is expected to eventually produce more than two thirds of Merck's annual live-virus vaccine stock, which could amount to more than 25 million doses per year. The facility will produce "Zostavax," Merck's new shingles vaccine, and a vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella.

In addition to the $300 million for the new vaccine facility in Durham, Merck is investing $100 million to increase vaccine-manufacturing capacity at the facility. The 115,000-ft2 expansion will provide room for sterile processing, formulation equipment, lyophilization equipment, automatic inspection equipment, testing laboratories, and high-speed packaging. The new phase of construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2007 and be completed by 2010.


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