Recipharm says lyophilisation is one of “the fastest growing markets” as it invests €32m ($43.4m) into its aseptic filling site in Germany.
The facility in Wasserburg, near Munich, specializes in the fill/finish of injectable drugs, and this investment injection is, with the creation of a fourth production area, set to increase the company’s lyophilisation capacity.
Freeze-drying can be used for both small molecule drugs and biopharmaceuticals, Armin Dallüge, General Manager of Recipharm in Wasserburg, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com. The facility has been running at full capacity for the last few years and this investment will feed the growing demand that Dallüge told us is “worldwide.”
He said: “Market reports say it is a niche [sector] but [it is] one of the fastest growing business.”
The appeal of lyophilisation in the industry, he continued, comes from the fact it turns the drug into a crystalline solid instead of traditional liquid filling. This makes the molecule both more stable and robust.
The expansion is set to be completed and operational in 2016 and the new building will also have the flexibility to accommodate further production lines. Furthermore, 38 jobs will be created pushing the total workforce at Wasserburg to 320.
CMO Investments in Lyophilisation
Recipharm added lyophilisation services to its offering in 2008 when it acquired a plant in Basel, Switzerland, from Inotech Labor , capable of processing 250L of a drug substance at a time.
The Swedish contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) expanded its services to offer large-scale freeze-drying two years later when it acquired the CMO Wasserburg Arzneimittelwerk from Hospira in 2010.
In recent years there have been a number of players who have invested in and expanded their lyophilisation capabilities. These include Baxter , Synerlab , SynCo , Japanese CMO Toyobo , and Cobra Biologics who split from Recipharm in 2011.