Serono closes Israeli plant

Related tags Multiple sclerosis

Switzerland's Serono, Europe's largest biotechnology company, has
said it will close its InterPharm manufacturing plant in Ness
Ziona, Israel, by the end of year.

InterPharm is 100 per cent owned by Serono and the company has operated the plant in the since 1978. Now, however, it has decided that the plant is too outdated to warrant upgrading.

"During the past 25 years the site has gone through a number of enhancements to keep it in line with ongoing technological developments. However, with the very latest streamlined processes for biotech manufacture the current site at Ness Ziona is now obsolete,"​ the company said in a statement.

InterPharm developed the manufacturing process for Rebif (interferon beta-1a), Serono's drug for multiple sclerosis that competes with other beta interferons - Biogen's Avonex and Schering's Betaferon - and Teva's Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). Until recently the drug was also made at the site, but production now takes place in Switzerland.

A Reuters report said Serono had run a feasibility study on the possibility of developing a state-of-the-art manufacturing centre in Israel, but that this revealed that the company's mid-term global manufacturing capacity needs are already secured and a new centre was not required.

Related topics Markets & Regulations

Follow us


View more