Hovione to invest €2m in nano drug R&D unit

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology

Portuguese contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) Hovione plans to invest €2m ($3m) in a new R&D unit in the capital Lisbon, as expansion space at its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in Loures is limited.

The facility, which is being set up in co-operation with the Portuguese Institute for the Support of Small and Medium Enterprise (IAPMEI), will be based at the Luminar science campus that acts as base for Portuguese technology firms under a Government led programme to boost innovation.

Peter Villax, vice president of Hovione’s pharma business unit, told in-PharmaTechnologist that: "We decided to go ahead with these new premises because it was the quickest solution to finding more space for our growing RD activities.​"

He also explained that Hovione’s total investment could reach €15m depending on the types of projects it is called upon to carry out by its customers and added that the unit will create around 40 new jobs.

The facility will act as a base for Hovione’s drug R&D efforts, with a focus on the design, development and characterisation of nano- and micro-particles for novel delivery applications.

Capacity investment

Hovione's latest investment continues a long running programme of infrastructure spending that has seen it boost capacity at several manufacturing locations, including in China where the firm has been progressively expanding for the last two decades.

In March last year, Hovione continued its Chinese growth, spending $20m (€14.3m) for a 75 per cent stake in Hisyn Pharmaceutical. More recently, the firm opened a new dedicated API manufacturing facility in Cork, Ireland from global drug giant Pfizer.

Speaking at the time Lorcan MacGarry, Hovione’s general manager in Ireland said: "We will be transferring to the Cork site a number of compounds over the next 18 month​s,” including approved APIs made at its plant in the Loures, Portugal.

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