The unit, in Atasehir southern Istanbul, will provide drugmakers operating in the country with capacity for laboratory-scale immediate and modified-release film coating trials according to spokeswoman Donna Marano.
She told in-pharmatechnologist that: “Colorcon's focus… is to anticipate and provide local service in every region where pharmaceutical manufacturing growth is expected.”
Recent data from the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Turkey (IEIS) indicate that the country’s drug market, worth some €6.5bn ($8.3bn) in 2009, is growing at a rate of 3 per cent a year.
And this expansion, while not as rapid in some areas, may present Colorcon with opportunities for its release coating business, particularly from firms keen to access the country’s well established generics market by developing new formulations of off patent products.
Middle East access
However, Marano also suggested that the new lab will help Colorcon grow more widely, explaining that “Turkey’s central location between Europe and Asia and it's proximity in the Middle East” was a factor in its selection.
Targeting the Middle East should also serve Colorcon well, given that the pharmaceutical sector in the top five markets in the region is expected to be worth some $36bn by 2015, according to a recent Espicom survey.
In the report, published in May, the analysts predicted that: “[although] the population in these five MENA markets is still young and is expected to reach 240.4 million in 2015… there is a sizeable elderly population which will demand more healthcare services.”
Further support for the prediction comes from the number of Big Pharma firms that have invested in manufacturing capacity in the region in recent years including, in June, Sanofi Aventis who unveiled plans for a plant in Saudi Arabia.
In broader terms, Geographical expansion has been something of a focus for Colorcon of late, with the new Istanbul unit following just a few months after it set up another coating formulation development laboratory in Brazil.
More recently, the US firm strengthened its modified releases coating business in India with the acquisition of Navi Mumbai-headquartered Pharmaceutical Coatings.