SAFC Sets Forth an Ambitious Growth Strategy - Pharmaceutical Technology

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SAFC Sets Forth an Ambitious Growth Strategy
SAFC is delivering on its plan for double-digit annual growth by increasing its businesses through organic growth and targeted technology acquisitions.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 3, Issue 32

SAFC invests in custom synthesis for small molecules and biologics

In addition to its investment in Wuxi, investments in SAFC's Pharma core businesses in 2007 included $5.4 million for a 17,200-ft2 CGMP storage-capacity expansion at its process-development facilities in Buchs, Switzerland. SAFC also enhanced production capacity at Buchs by 25% through improved materials flow and separation.

At its commercial-scale API facility in Arklow, Ireland, SAFC Pharma invested $4.7 million for equipment to increase capacity. It added a 2000-L Hastalloy reactor that increased large-scale API manufacturing capacity by 15%. SAFC Pharma also added a pilot-scale filter dryer with 15 kg of capacity that allowed it to double capacity for small-scale (10–100 kg) API manufacturing.

A key part of SAFC Pharma's strategy is to build its capabilities in niche technologies. "We intend to be the leader to provide development and manufacturing services for complex, niche technologies, and where we can be the number one or two provider in market niches with high-growth potential" says Feldker.

For now, these areas include high-potency API manufacturing, niche biologics applications, and solid-state chemistry services. SAFC Pharma's investments in 2007 supported this strategy.

In high-potency API manufacturing, SAFC Pharma invested $4.5 million for increasing kilo-laboratory and pilot-plant capacity at its facility in Madison, Wisconsin. The expansion is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2008 and adds two 100-L CGMP portable jacketed reactors and a 1200-ft2 kilo laboratory. SAFC also added a new high-potency API conjugation suite at its St. Louis, Missouri, manufacturing campus, which is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2008.

Another key development in high-potency API manufacturing is a $29-million investment for expanding fermentation capacity at the Sigma-Aldrich Jerusalem, Israel facility, due for completion in 2009.

Growth in niche technologies

In 2007, SAFC Pharma announced plans to increase capabilities in biologics manufacturing with a $12-million expansion at its niche biologics production facility in Carlsbad, California. The company plans to add two viral-product manufacturing suites with disposable bioreactor technologies. The suites add 8000 ft2 of manufacturing space and enable 100-L batch production in stirred tank bioreactors and 1000-L batch manufacturing in disposable bioreactors. The expansion will add to SAFC's current 44,000-ft2 site and be Biosafety Level 2 compliant that will allow manipulation of human pathogens. The suites are scheduled to be operational in the third quarter of 2009. SAFC acquired the Carlsbad facility with its 2007 acquisition of Molecular Medicine BioServices.

SAFC also invested $16 million to add two protein API facilities at its St. Louis, manufacturing campus in 2007. It added a new 25,000-ft2 CGMP purification and manufacturing suite for transgenic plant and other nonanimal-derived protein APIs and a 6000-ft2 facility for purification of animal-derived protein APIs.

Solid-state chemistry was a third area of investment for SAFC in 2007. It announced the second-phase of a $600,000-expansion of its solid-state services research facility in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The company is adding 7500 ft2 of laboratory capacity that is scheduled for completed in the first quarter of 2008.


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