Big Pharma's Manufacturing Strategy: What is the Next Move? - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Big Pharma's Manufacturing Strategy: What is the Next Move?
Pharmaceutical Technology's annual analysis of the pharmaceutical majors' activities shows a shrinking global manufacturing network amidst company restructuring, product intensification in biologics, and a strategic focus and push to emerging markets.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 34, Issue 8, pp. 32-38

Roche. The other megamerger in 2009 was Roche's (Basel, Switzerland) nearly $47-billion acquisition of the biotechnology company Genentech (South San Francisco, CA) in 2009. As part of its integration plan, Roche established Genentech's South San Franciso site as the headquarters of the combined company's pharmaceutical business in the US, including commercial operations for the US market. Genentech's research and early-development unit is being set up as an autonomous unit, and Genentech's late-stage development activities are being integrated into Roche's global pharmaceuticals division network.

During the assessment of its manufacturing network, particularly its biotechnology-manufacturing network, Roche decided to discontinue operations at several manufacturing faciliites and construction projects, most notably a bulk-drug production unit as part of the Genentech site in Vacaville, California, and a Roche manufacturing plant in Penzberg, Germany. Roche incurred restructuring and integration costs of CHF 2.4 billion ($2.3 billion) in 2009, which included the discontinuation of the construction project at the Vacaville site, termination costs for the closure of manufacturing operations in Nutley, New Jersey, the closure of an R&D site in Palo Alto, California, and other administrative costs. Roche expects to complete its restructuring activities by the end of 2010 and will have total restructuring costs of CHF 3.4 billion ($3.2 billion). At the end of 2009, Roche's Pharmaceutical Divsion operated 24 production sites worldwide.

In May 2009, Roche opened an additional large-scale multipurpose chemical-production unit in Florence, South Carolina. In June 2009, the company opened a new production center in Kaiseraugust, Switzerland, for sterile manufacturing products such as liquid and lyophilized vials and prefilled syringes. In August 2009, Roche exercised an option, previously held by Genentech, to purchase a biologic manufacturing facility in Singapore that had been built by the contract manufacturing organization Lonza (Basel). This facility, plus another Genentech biologic-manufacturing facility in Singapore, provided Roche with its first biopharmaceutial manufacturing facilities in Asia. A new technical R&D building in Basel, which will serve as a center for the development and manufacture of clinical-trial materials, is scheduled for completion in 2011. In January 2010, Roche announced an investment of CHF 100 million ($95 million) for a research hub for translational medicines in Singapore.

sanofi-aventis. In March 2010, sanofi-aventis (Paris) outlined an investment plan for adapting its chemical and biotechnology manufacturing facilities in France during the next four years. The project's goal is to change the company's chemical-industrial activities in France to biotechnology and vaccine production by 2014. The project also prepares the facilities for a decline in production that will follow the patent expirations of several major drugs derived by synthetic chemistry. Since 2008, sanofi-aventis has invested EUR 700 million ($904 million) to convert its chemical-production facilities in France to biotechnology facilities, according to company estimates. This total includes an EUR 350-million ($452-million) investment in facilities in Neuville-sur-Saône, and an EUR 200-million ($258-million) investment in facilities in Vitry-sur-Seine, which will include monoclonal antibody production. Some new activities of sanofi pasteur, the vaccine arm of sanofi-aventis, will be housed in the new facility in Neuville-sur-Saône, Rhône, France, where a new vaccine against dengue fever will be produced. This plant will become the company's third largest European center fully dedicated to vaccines by 2014. The company also launched new production units for sterile injectble products at its manufacturing plant in Le Trait, France in late 2009. The site manufactures the seasonal flu vaccine Vaxigrip, and beginning in early 2010, the intradermal flu vaccine Intanza. sanofi-aventis's plan also includes a gradual phase-out of the facilities in Romainville, Seine-Saint Denis, France, by the end of 2013.

sanofi-aventis will invest EUR 150 million ($194 million) in its industrial plants, including EUR 90 million ($120 million) for the creation of a new biosynthetic process in the industrial plants in Saint-Aubin-Lés-Elbeuf, Seine-Maritime, France, and in Vertolaye, Puy de Dôme, France, to improve the company's corticosteroid-production competitiveness. In a separate move, sanofi aventis also aquired a insulin-manufacturing plant in Frankfurt–Hoechst, Germany, from Pfizer in 2009.


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