Big Pharma's Manufacturing Blueprint for the Future - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Big Pharma's Manufacturing Blueprint for the Future
The pharmaceutical majors continue rationalizing manufacturing capacity in established markets as they forge their manufacturing networks in biologics and emerging markets.


Pharmaceutical Technology
Volume 35, Issue 8, pp. 40-47

Novartis. In November 2010, Novartis defined the company's strategic focus to include pharmaceuticals, eye care, Sandoz (the company's generic-drug business), consumer healthcare, vaccines, and diagnostics. In addition, Novartis plans to strengthen its commercial position in emerging markets in China, Russia, Brazil, and India.

As part of its emerging-market strategy, in June 2011, Novartis broke ground for a new, $140-million pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in St. Petersburg, Russia. Once completed and approved for commercial production, which is expected in 2014, the facility will produce approximately 1.5 billion oral solid dosage units per year. The facility is part of a $500-million, five-year investment into Russian healthcare infrastructure announced by Novartis in December 2010, which addresses three core areas: local manufacturing, R&D collaborations, and public-health development.

In late 2009, Novartis announced a $1-billion, five-year investment to expand the China Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. In March 2011, Novartis completed the $125-million acquisition of an 85% stake in the Chinese vaccines company Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical. Novartis also is constructing a new, $300-million vaccine-manufacturing facility in Goiana, Brazil. The technical startup of the facility is planned for the end of 2014.

In Western Europe and the US, Novartis is proceeding with a long-term redevelopment of its headquarters site in Basel, Switzerland. First begun in 2001, the goal of the project, called "Campus," is to invest in R&D, corporate, and administrative activities at the site and to transfer production facilities from the site to other sites in the Basel region. Through Dec. 31, 2010, the total amount spent on the project was $1.9 billion, and the company expects to spend a total of $2.6 billion through 2015. In October 2010, Novartis announced that it would invest $600 million during the next five years to build new laboratory and office space in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In vaccines, Novartis is investing in a new $240-million rabies and tick-borne encephalitis vaccine-manufacturing facility in Marburg, Germany. The facility is expected to open in 2012. In late 2009, Novartis opened a large-scale influenza cell-culture vaccine and adjuvant manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, North Carolina, in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Biomedical Research and Development Authority. The total investment in the new facility is expected to be at least $900 million, partly supported by grants from the US government and previous investments in influenza cell-culture technologies at the Novartis vaccines site in Marburg.

As part of an effort to optimize its manufacturing footprint, Novartis divested a Sandoz site in Jena, Germany, and announced its exit from a Ciba Vision production site in Cidra, Puerto Rico. In April 2011, Novartis finalized its acquisition of the eye-care company Alcon.


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