PharmEng aims to make a profit in 08

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pfizer

Canadian contract manufacturer and consultancy firm PharmEng
International has published its 2007 accounts, and says it remains
firmly focused on getting into the black in 2008.

Revenues grew 15 per cent to $12.4m, although it posted a higher net loss than in 2006 at $3.5m compared to $2m, mainly as a consequence of writing off financing costs of $1.7m, related to its acquisition of a manufacturing facility in Ontario last year. The Arnprior facility, formerly owned by Pfizer and taken over by PharmEng's manufacturing subsidiary Keata Pharmaceuticals, is a key factor in the company's push to profitability this year as it brings around $75m in manufacturing contracts from its former owner between 2008 and 2010. Prior to the takeover, the Arnprior facility manufactured Aricept (donepezil) for Alzheimer's disease, antihypertensive Norvasc (amlodipine), Celebrex (celecoxib) for arthritis, the smoking cessation drug Champix (varenicline), cholesterol treatment Lipitor (atorvastatin), Viagra (sildenafil) for erectile dysfunction and HIV drug Viracept (nelfinavir). PharmEng also recently opened a new facility in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, which is one of the few plants in Canada able to handle the manufacture of controlled-release formulations. The company has invested over $15m in the facility, which has been designed to be able to cater to international as well as domestic markets. A further $6.25m investment came from Canadian government in the form of repayable contributions. To put the importance of the North Sydney and Arnprior facilities in perspective, revenues from Keata increased 3 per cent to just $2m in 2007. PharmEng CEO Alan Kwong said the purchase of the new facilities "marks the beginning of a new and exciting growth stage for our company​." In 2007, PharmEng also announced the establishment of a Chinese joint venture which would allow the firm to handle the increasingly stringent regulatory requirements in Asia Pacific and gain access to a number of fast-growing pharmaceutical markets. That investment helped PharmEng's consultancy business grow its revenues to $10.3m in 2007, up 17 per cent year-on-year and on the back of new consulting projects in China, Kenya, Taiwan, Malaysia, Tanzania, Israel and the US. The consulting division focuses on project management, engineering initiatives, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and validation, regulatory affairs, calibration and biosafety services. "Our consulting division is a perfect complimentary fit to drive business into our manufacturing operation​", said Kwong. "2008 will be an excellent year of growth for us​."

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