Helsinn plans for HPAPI manufacture

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Active ingredient

Swiss drugmaker Helsinn has unveiled plans to add high-potency API R&D and manufacturing capacity to its facility in Biasca in the south of the country.

The plan, announced yesterday, will see Helsinn expand development and manufacturing services in a bid to capture a share of the growing market demand for potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Company CEO Riccardo Braglia explained that: "The new organization of our R&D and production facilities in both Switzerland and Ireland represents one of our corporate strategic goals and is of significant benefit for the further growth of our international business​."

The move follows just weeks after the Biasca facility gained ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 certifications for the development and manufacture of APIs for the drug industry following a May inspection by accreditation group SGS International.

At the time, Paolo Guainazzi described the certifications as an important step for the firm and a vindication of its decision to invest around €5m ($7m) to raise quality, safety and manufacturing standards at the plant.

Helsinn Ireland sold to Medinco

Helsinn also confirmed that, as part of ongoing reorganisation efforts, it has signed an agreement to sell its Irish manufacturing plant in Mulhuddart, Dublin to Italian pharmaceutical chemicals supplier Medinco for an undisclosed sum.

The year so far has been a busy one for Helsinn’s executive team. In January, the firm set up a base in US pharmaceutical hub New Jersey with the acquisition of Sapphire Therapeutics.

Speaking at the time Braglia explained the Sapphire purchase would “allow [the firm] to expand our current pipeline of products in existing, focused therapeutic areas in particular in cancer supportive care​.”

He went on to say that the unit would act as both an R&D and commercial operations centre for the firm’s burgeoning North American business.

This was followed in March by Helsinn’s investment of €13m ($18m) to set up an R&D centre of excellence for oral solid-dose drugs at a second facility in the Irish capital Dublin, creating 10 new high-tech jobs.

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