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

sanofi is also positioning in emerging markets. In November 2009, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Prominvest, a fully owned subsidiary of the Russian State Corporation Rostekhnologii, confirming its intent to participate in the Pharmpolis Project. The project is part of an overall effort by the Russian government to localize innovator-drug manufacturers in Russia and foster the expansion of the country's pharmaceutical market. sanofi-aventis will use its insulin-manufacturing facility in Russia as part of a pilot initiative in the Pharmpolis Project.

sanofi-aventis acquired the vaccine producer Shantha Biotechnics (Hyderabad, India) in 2009. It is also investing in prefilled injection production lines for its insulin product Lantus SoloStar in China; in vaccine production in Shenzen, China; and in an expansion and relocation to facilities in Hangzhou, China. The company also invested EUR 100 million ($129 million) for an influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Mexico.

Novartis. In November 2009, Novartis (Basel) inaugurated the US's first-ever large-scale cell-culture and adjuvant vaccine-manufacturing facility in Holly Spring, North Carolina. The nearly $1-billion investment is a result of a partnership between Novartis and the US Deparment of Health to improve influenza vaccine-manufacturing in the US and facilitate domestic pandemic flu preparedenss. The plant is scheduled to be running at full-scale commercial production in 2013. If licensed in an emergency, the plant will be able to produce product in 2011.

In emerging markets, Novartis is investing $500 million in a new vaccine-manufacturing facility in Goiana, Brazil, which is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2014. The company opened a new technical R&D and API manufacturing facility in Changshu, China to support the production of Tekturan/Rasilez (aliskiren hemifumarate), which included a $56-million investment in 2009 as part of a $265-million investment in that facility. In November 2009, Novartis announced it is investing $1 billion during the next five years to expand its research center in Shanghai, making it the company's third-largest research institute in the world. The company also acquired an 85% stake in the Chinese vaccine company Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical.

Bristol-Myers Squibb. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS, New York) has substantially completed its new multiproduct bulk biologics manufacturing facility in Devens, Massachusetts. Construction of the facility began in early 2007 and was substantially completed in 2009. The company plans to submit the site for regulatory approval in 2011 and hopes to begin commercial production of biologic compounds later in 2011. BMS also implemented in 2009 a productivity transformation initiative, which included reductions to its manufacturing operations, which numbered 19 production facilities as of the end of 2009. BMS is on track to realize its target of achieving $2.5 billion in annual productivity cost savings by 2012.


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