Efforts to develop cancer treatments have increased interest in cytotoxic compounds, creating demand for contract manufacturing organisations (CMO) with specialised capabilities. Baxter has expanded its plant in Halle three times to keep pace with demand and changing requirements.
The most recent expansion, which is due to be completed next month, includes the addition of a large-scale lyophilisation unit to boost freeze-drying capacity. Lyophilisation supports the majority of the plant’s manufacturing and consequently is a fundamental process at the site.
Baxter has also upgraded the filling technology it uses in large-scale production. Installation of the new system, which uses advanced cRABS (closed Restricted Access Barrier System), will allow for a more than 50 per cent increase in capacity for commercial cytotoxic production.
Furthermore, Baxter claims the use of cRABS enhances product sterility and operator safety. RABS achieve this by keeping a physical barrier between workers and production areas.
The facility also has a nanoparticle suite equipped with a high pressure homogeniser, giving Baxter capabilities for commercial-scale production of cytotoxic emulsions, liposomes and suspensions.
Enhancement of large-scale capabilities allows Baxter to offer services spanning early phase drug formulation through to commercial scale up, introduction and lifecycle management.
Burkhard Wichert, vice president of manufacturing for Baxter’s Halle facility, said housing these capabilities at a single site allows the company “to fully engage and service our clients throughout the lifecycle of their products”.
Baxter intends to continue enhancing capabilities at the Halle facility, with the next phase of expansion due to be completed in 2012.