The new facility in LaPorte, Texas, houses 23 gallons of reactor capacity and is capable of a range of energetic chemistry processes, including azide, cyanide and phosgene production and commercial-scale hydrogenation.
Spokesman Scott Watson told in-Pharmatechnologist that AMPAC bought the plant from the ZaCh System unit of Italian chemicals maker Zambon as part of a strategy to grow capacity and take advantage of opportunities provided by the economic downturn.
Watson said that, unlike rival manufacturers that have exited North America in the face of competition from countries where production is cheaper, AMPAC sees attractive growth potential for fine chemicals.
He added that the AMPAC unit “differentiates its offering through technology” citing continuous processing and high potency active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) capacity as particular examples.
The LaPorte facility, Watson continued, will support large-scale production of both development projects and existing commercial manufacturing carried out at AMPAC’s facility in Rancho Cordova, California.
He was not able to say which customers AMPAC will work with at the plant for reasons of confidentiality, but listed Gilead, Biogen Idec and Incyte as examples of industry clients.
In a statement company president Aslam Malik said: "With the addition of these facilities, we continue to move toward our vision of creating value-added growth in cGMP pharmaceutical chemical manufacturing."
Malik added that: “While it will take some time to fill this expanded capacity, our pipeline remains strong and we foresee the need for this capacity as our development products mature."
Joe Carleone, CEO of AMPAC Fine Chemical’s parent America Pacific, predicted that: "Pharmaceutical companies will continue to grow their outsourcing strategy for chemicals, especially when unique technologies are involved; as the industry rebounds, we will be there to serve our customers' increasing needs."