Great Lakes Fine Chemicals has invested $8 million ($6.7m) in a program aimed at upgrading its manufacturing facilities in Holywel, Wales.
The company, which produces fine chemical intermediates for pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial applications, said that Holywel would focus on the manufacture of products for its pharmaceutical customers.
The investment programme was supported by a $1.2 million Welsh Assembly Regional Selective Assistance grant and was used to upgrade GLFC's existing plant, as well as the construction of new laboratory facilities.
A $3.5 million laboratory building which forms the core of the programme is designed to allow for future expansion and comprises two R&D chemistry laboratories, one analytical laboratory, two segregated, current Good Manufacturing Practice-compliant kilo-scale laboratories and a dedicated area for thermochemical analysis. Currently, 16 chemists and analysts are employed in the new facility, which has the capacity to accommodate 25 scientists in total.
The remainder of the investment was used to upgrade the cGMP capabilities of the site and also provided for new filter/driers, improved materials handling, enhanced cooling and environmental controls, as well as a general infrastructure refurbishment.
GLFC's general manager of the Holywel site, David Rowles, said: "The $8 million investment has greatly developed the site, enhancing GLFC's ability to meet customers needs and expectations."
This is the latest tranche in a series of investment programs at GLFC's sites around the world, including Holywel and Halebank in Cheshire, UK, which have allowed the company to offer laboratory scale synthesis as well as multi-ton commercial production. One of the key events in the company's recent history in terms of its pharmaceutical activities was the acquisition of NSC Technologies in 1999, which specialises in the production of chiral intermediates and selected bulk actives for pharmaceutical companies.
GLFC has established a broad range of novel synthesis technologies that now, with the acquisition of NSC, include synthesis and chemistry of amino acids, halogens and phosgenes, as well as asymmetric hydrogenation, pathway engineering and biocatalysis.