Fresenius’ APP expands Grand Island capacity

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags President Firm Us

APP Pharmaceuticals has bought additional facilities at a site in Grand Island, New York seizing the opportunity created by Astellas Manufacturing’s decision to shift production of its dermatitis drug Protopic to Japan.

The manufacturing space is being sold as part of an efficiency drive set out by Astellas’ Japanese parent. “This transfer…has been carried out as one of the important steps for Astellas’ mid-term five-year management plan​,” commented company vice president of technology Hitoshi Ohta.

US generics firm APP, which was purchased by Germany's Fresenius for $3.7bn (€2.5bn) last week, already has production and packaging operations at the site. Company president Thomas Silberg said that the acquisition “adds needed manufacturing capacity​,” and will facilitate the firm’s growth plans.

APP CEO Frank Harmon, told Buffalo’s Business First​ that the company’s: “robust new product pipeline is what is continuing to fuel the growth of our Grand Island Facility​.”

Harmon added that further expansion is planned, explaining “over the next three to five-year horizon, we are very aggressively transferring new products to be made at our Grand Island facility​,” which he described as the firm’s flagship manufacturing unit.

Under the terms of the transfer, financial details of which are not being released, Astellas will lease the facility from APP through to spring 2009 to maintain supply of Protopic while it completes the transfer of production to its plant in Toyama, central Japan.

APP said that it intends to offer positions to a “majority​” of the 100 or so manufacturing employees that currently work at the facility. The firm added that it also plans to start interviewing for additional staff later this autumn.

The move is in keeping with comments made by APP chairman Patrick Soon-Shiong earlier this year. He outlined the company’s $80m (€56m) investment plan and said that the Grand Island facility and its plant in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, would be the main focus of the firm’s infrastructure spending.

Fresenius sets sights on US generic IV sector

German health care company Fresenius, which completed its purchase of APP on September 10 through its Kabi subsidiary, has firmly set its sights on the US market and particularly the country’s intravenous generic drugs sector.

Speaking last week, Ulf Mark Schneider, Fresenius chairman, said that: "We are pleased to be able to complete this major transaction in a very short time. Now we are focused on successfully integrating APP and further developing the business.”

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