The firm said that acquiring the facility in La Vallée, Haute-Loire – which has total reactor capacity of 128,000 litres - has nearly doubled its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) production capabilities.
At present the contract manufacturing organisation’s (CMO) API capacity is split between sites operated by its Valdepharma and Fareva Romainville subsidiaries in France and its Excella division in Germany.
Fareva said it plans to spend €25m ($28m) to bring the facility up to operational exposure (OEB) 4 standards – which are required for the handling of toxic and highly potent APIs – and predicted that the work will be completed in mid-2017.
Merck & Co – known as MSD outside North America – announced its intention to seek a buyer for the facility in 2013 as part of extensive cuts following its acquisition of Schering-Plough in 2009.
Last month, the US drugmaker revealed that restructuring since 2013 – which involved the sale of other manufacturing sites and the elimination of 7,290 positions – has cost $2.7bn and predicted that the total cost of the programme would reach $3bn by the end of 2015.
More to follow…