Azopharma expands cytotoxics capacity

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Us

US contractor Azopharma has added new GMP quality cytotoxics and high-potency manufacturing capacity at its facility in Hollywood, South Florida in a bid to strengthen its position in the trial materials sector.

The 7,000 sq ft expansion includes three dedicated suites stocked with the requisite equipment, including an MG Futura Capsule Filler, a Bausch & Strobel aseptic filling isolator and XcelodoseTM powder microdosing system.

Azopharma now has 29 manufacturing suites, 11 dedicated cytotoxics production units, two good manufacturing practice (GMP) standard aseptic filling plants and two explosion proof production facilities that were completed earlier this year.

Company CEO Phil Meeks said that the new capacity is a key development for the firm and claimed that: “Our capabilities are unique within the industry based on the depth and scope of our development capabilities which range from discovery to commercialization."

Cytoxics boost for US CMOs

The market for cytotoxic production looks set to continue growing over the next few years as a rise in demand for novel, potent medications to replenish pipelines coincides with Big Pharma’s efforts to cut back on internal manufacturing capacity.

While this will drive demand of all types of contract drug manufacture, the specialised handling skills needed to make cytotoxics and the investment required to develop such capacity is likely to limit the number of companies offering such services.

A recent Frost & Sullivan (F&S) survey predicted that demand for cytotoxics handling, lyophilisation and the production of small volume parenterals (SVP) would see US contract manufacturing organisations (CMO) regain ground lost to rivals.

In the last year alone Cytovance Biologics, PharmaTek and SAFC have increased their US cytotoxic and high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) handling capacity.

Cancer rates climb

Another factor likely to drive the market for cytotoxic drugs, and hence the need for more outsourced manufacturing services, is the growing incidence of cancer worldwide.

A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report suggested the number of cases of cancer will grow 50 per cent to 15m by 2020.

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