Johnson Matthey builds HPAPI site in Scotland

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

Highly potent APIs: Johnson Matthey's site will limit occupational exposure (Image: John Morgan)
Highly potent APIs: Johnson Matthey's site will limit occupational exposure (Image: John Morgan)

Related tags Morphine Johnson matthey

API- and catalyst-maker Johnson Matthey has built high containment facilities for potent products at its site in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The expansion was made by MacFarlan Smith, part of the Fine Chemical and Catalysts division of Johnson Matthey.

Macfarlan Smith provides and manufactures opiates, controlled substances and HPAPIs (highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients).

This latest, self-contained facility contains isolators with a range of hastelloy and glass vessels. Powder transfers are mediated at the facility through split butterfly values with active valve wash stations.  It also has a dedicated finishing room, QC lab and control room. 

The investment was made to meet existing demand for potent products and will also give the company extra capacity for future orders, the company said.

Johnson Matthey said the site was designed to be a safe working environment, with controls in place to make chemicals with an occupational exposure limit less than 30 nanograms per m3.

This new facility is a significant addition to our existing capabilities at our site in Edinburgh,​” said Steve Barr, Vice President, Business Development Europe.

It enhances our overall capabilities in high containment manufacturing and provides extra capacity to extend our range of high potency products and services. These facilities support Johnson Matthey’s broader assets for the manufacture of highly potent products including our US capacity in West Deptford, NJ and Devens, MA.​”

Construction finished last month and the company is due to begin commercial manufacturing.


Johnson Matthey recently reported a decline in sales of bulk opiates and other pain management APIs​ in Q3 2014, year-on-year. However operating profits were up by half a million pounds to £96.5m ($145m) thanks to the sale of ingredients for ADHD drugs, the company said.

The firm bought an API manufacturing site in Annan, Scotland, from Bakhu Pharma in December. It has started a multi-million pound​” refurbishment of the site​, which it plans to reopen in early 2016.

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