Capital investment news round-up

Related tags Innomed predtox Novo nordisk

European companies have announced hefty spending on new
manufacturing facilities this month, suggesting that despite a
difficult operating environment the pharmaceutical sector is still
prepared to make significant capital investments

Lonza​ of Switzerland has unveiled plans to invest a further $200 million (€157m) in its US plant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, creating 125 jobs. The expansion of the Large-Scale Buiild Out (LSBO) facility is due to complete in autumn 2007, and will involve the installation of an additional 20,000-litre mammalian cell culture bioreactor train to complement three trains commissioned this summer.

"The additional fourth reactor train is in direct response to additional customer demand,"​ said Lonza in a statement.

Novo Nordisk​ has announced plans for $100 million expansion of its insulin manufacturing facility in Clayton, North Carolina, US. The company plans to break ground on the new 181,000 square foot addition within the next few months.

The first phase of the facility expansion, scheduled for completion in 2006, will allow Novo Nordisk to more than double its insulin filling capabilities. A second phase of the expansion will include two new assembly and packaging lines to accommodate Novo Nordisk's insulin delivery device, FlexPen, as well as administration and storage space, with expected completion in 2007.

The company recently completed a €10 million two-story addition to the site to add quality inspection, cold storage capabilities and quality control laboratories, as well as additional administrative and employee areas.

Roche​ has announced that it is building a second high tech manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China, to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients for its cancer medicine Xeloda (capecitabine) and the transplantation medicine CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil). It hopes to launch the drugs on Chinese market in 2006.

The company made the announcement at the opening of its new R&D centre at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Shanghai. The new research centre, which is part of the Roche global R&D operation, will focus on medicinal chemistry research for lead generation and optimisation. Initially, it will be staffed with 40 scientists.

Meanwhile, Novartis​ is exploring opportunities in India to acquire, via its subsidiary in the country, local companies which make active pharmaceutical ingredients, according to local press reports.

The proposed acquisition and contract manufacturing deals are part of the Swiss company's plan to expand its Indian generic business operations, and the acquisition is likely to involve an investment of $100 million.

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