IDT Biologika unveils plans to expand viral vaccine contract manufacturing operations and says global capacity failing to keep pace with resurgence in drug industry demand.
IDT will add high-containment formulation, fill and finish capacity at its facility in Dessau-Tornau Pharmapark, Germany in a project that Andreas Neubert, VP of the firm’s vaccines business, should be completed in 2013.
Dr Neubert told Outsourcing-pharma the expansion, which will also house clean room, containment and lyophilisation capacity, followed market analysis that uncovered an “urgent need for such capacities.”
He explained that: “Our investigations revealed that there is an apparent worldwide lack of contract manufacturing capacities for [viral vaccine production],” citing progress of clients’ candidates into late-stage trials as a specific motivation.
Neubert also echoed recent comments by CEO Ralf Pfirmann telling Outsourcing-pharma that scientific breakthroughs were driving a considerable upswing in pharmaceutical industry interest in the development and production.
“Recent developments for therapeutic vaccines based on better understanding of immunological aspects of chronic diseases, including cancer. Some other very exiting aspects are the use of viral vectors for cure of oncological diseases.”
He predicted that such progress, coupled with “new technologies [that] allow development of vaccines for prevention of diseases where traditional vaccines showed insufficient efficacy and safety profiles,” would further increase demand for manufacturing capacity.
Further support for this idea comes from recent headlines which show that, while in clinical development firms like PPD and Encorium are building capacity, in the contract manufacturing space such investments are few and far between.
Biologics workforce expansion
In related news, IDT said it has hired an additional 80 employees, expanding its total manufacturing workforce by some 11 per cent.
Dr Pfirmann predicted that additional capacity "will accommodate increased demand in [the area of biologics production], and ensure the highest levels of efficiency and quality for our customers."