Univar expands white oils capacity, predicts pharma demand

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Pharmacology

Univar has announced plans to ramp up capacity for medicinal white oils, predicting that increased regulatory focus on supply chain integrity will drive drug industry demand.

The US fine chemicals firm has spent €600,000 on a new atmosphere-controlled cleanroom, or white room, for filling, handling and distribution of the highly refined hydrocarbon product at its facility in Lieusaint, France.

Operations, which are due to begin later this year, will be compliant with good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines. In edition to this, Univar’s in-house analytical QA will monitor conditions.

Univar communications director Catherin Lennon told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that, in part at least, the decision to expand was driven by drug sector’s desire for enhanced traceability.

With the new EU Directive on the Falsification of Medicines likely to become law next year, we expect pharma producers to look more closely at how excipients such as white oils are handled in the supply chain.

Lennon added that: "We foresee an increasing demand in other market segments asking for high purity products, such as the personal care industry​."

Univar gets its white oil from industry giant Exxon Mobil under a recently expanded contract that covers the supply and distribution latter’s Marcol and Primol brands in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

At present around 20 per cent of the white oil Univar sells is ‘pharmaceutical grade’ and suitable for a variety of applications in drug manufacturing and excipient production.

These include, for example, use in lotions nasal and throat sprays, vaccines and laxatives or as a general base product for blending during pharmaceutical production operations.

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