The UK contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) has created a new 240 sqm semi-solids manufacturing area at the plant, which has produced solid hormones drugs on a contract basis since it opened in 2005.
The unit houses a 1,200 litre production vessel and mixing technology and is divided into a bulk manufacturing room, a separate cleaning unit and a dedicated packaging area capable of handling suppositories, pessaries, ointments, gels and creams.
NextPharma can produce three new types of drug in Waltrop, sexual hormones, corticosteroids and thyroid gland medications, which managing director Hermann Osterwald suggested will help the firm attract new business.
“Following on from the success of our hormone solids area, which was completed in 2005, we are delighted to have expanded our capabilities…and be in a position to offer existing and new customers the benefits o this new facility.”
The move is the second NextPharma has unveiled at one of its German plants this month after the new tablet filling line it installed at its unit in Gottingen in the centre of the country.
The expansion into semi-solid hormones also fits with predictions about the future growth of all segments of the pharmaceutical hormone market.
Analysis by BCC research revealed that, for example, the global hormone replacement therapy market, worth $16bn in 2008, is growing at a rate of 10.4 per cent a year and will reach a value of $26bn in three years time.
And beyond HRT, the study indicated double digit increases for Antiestrogens, SERMs, antiandrogens, aromatase inhibitors, LH RH agonists and growth hormone and testosterone therapies.
All of which bodes well for NextPharma’s efforts to attract new customers, particularly given the pharmaceutical industry’s growing use of outsourced manufacturing.
But, NextPharma is not the only CMO to have noticed this trend. A number of other firms, DPT Laboratories to give one example, have increased in-house hormone production capacity.