Alpharma has asked one of the largest manufacturers of bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in China, Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical, to help it double its capacity of making vancomycin.
Currently manufactured at Alpharma sites in Copenhagen and Budapest, vancomycin is the treatment of choice for severe gram positive hospital infections, so Alpharma, which is the biggest vancomycin provider to the generic drug market in the world, turned to Hisun for assistance on boosting its production over the next several years.
Under the agreement, the US specialty pharmaceutical firm will purchase vancomycin from Hisun to meet short-term demand until the completion of the construction and regulatory approval of a new vancomycin manufacturing plant at the Hisun facility in China.
The new facility, which will be owned and operated by Alpharma, will incorporate technology purchased from Hisun, in addition to certain Alpharma technology, and will have a yearly output capacity of 30 tons.
By late 2007 the company aims to secure the necessary regulatory approvals to allow vancomycin production at the new site to be sold in the global market place, including the US and European markets, an investment that will cost $10m (€8m).
What is more, Hisun will provide certain services in connection with the operation of the new plant.
Established in 1956, Hisun ranks among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in China as well as in the top 500 Chinese companies overall.
Apart from vancomycin, Alpharma, which has approximately 700 customers in 70 countries, also makes other key APIs such as bacitracin, polymyxin B, and tobramycin.