Environmental fines in Delaware Two pharmaceutical companies in Delaware, USA have been hit with fines for breaching air pollution regulations. Noramco has been fined $10,000 for mistakes that led to a 379kg release of methylene chloride liquid, a probable carcinogenic, in May 2007. The leak was attributed to a break in a pressure control fitting which was not detected. Methylene chloride is used by Noramco as a solvent to make pharmaceutical-grade morphine and codeine from imported poppy straw. Noramco's facility has had environmental problems in the past, with 136kg of solvents being released in 2004 resulting in the evacuation of 40 workers. Croda Uniqema, a manufacturer of pharmaceutical ingredients, has also been ordered to pay an $11,000 penalty and $1,650 fine for a permit violation committed in 2005. Bafna facility gains MHRA approval India-based Bafna Pharmaceuticals' facility has received approval from the Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to export products to the UK and European Union. In gaining approval Bafna becomes the 36th company in the Indian pharmaceuticals industry (IPI) to receive accreditation from the MHRA. The company is now seeking to expand its reach into the EU and to other regulated markets. Bafna Mahaveer Chand, chairman and managing director of Bafna, said: "This MHRA approval, as a long term strategy, would highlight our foray into regulated markets of UK and Europe. These markets, by and large, offer much better margins when compared to other markets. MHRA has been a direct way for us to access these markets, which have huge generics opportunities." Excela PharmSci's new North Carolina facility Virginia-based Excela PharmSci is to build a new manufacturing facility in Lenoir, North Carolina, having considered sites as far away as India. The company is to receive a $250,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund to help fund the site, which is due to hire 55 workers over the next three years. Commenting on the news Mike Easley, governor of North Carolina, said: "North Carolina's work to build its pharmaceutical industry continues to show success. "This announcement demonstrates our state's ability to provide the high-skill workforce and favorable business climate pharmaceutical and biopharma companies need to grow and expand in the Research Triangle and across the state." Strike at Teva halts production Employees at Teva Tech, a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceuticals, have staged a three-hour walkout at the company's plant at Ramat Hovav, with the support of the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel). Production ceased at all the plant's manufacturing facilities, including the one that produces the company's flagship multiple sclerosis drug, Copaxone (glatiramer acetate).