The Portugal-based API supplier is set to add 30,000sq ft of space at its site in East Windsor, New Jersey, more than doubling capacity and introducing new services to support potent drug substance projects.
“This facility will be a multipurpose plant to provide services to the pharmaceutical industry,” General Manager of the site Marco Gil told this publication. “It will be able to handle potent compounds and will have hydrogenation and cryogenic capabilities.”
He added the design approach was to keep the site flexible and, once operational in 2017, will offer small quantities in the range of 100kg to 1mt for the commercial market.
“The site is best fit for high paced projects typically associated with the orphan drugs and breakthrough therapies where an increase in demand has been observed,” Gil continued.
Low-cost vs high-service
While there has been a trend for drugmakers to source APIs from traditionally low-cost economies such as India and China, Hovione are seeing increasing demand from “small to mid-sized biotechs with a strong desire to have manufacturing partners in the US.”
This was another key factor in driving the expansion, Dave Hoffman, President of the US operations, told in-Pharmatechnologist.com, who added “there are specific segment of customers that value the simplification of the supply chain and being closer to the operations without the need to travel overseas.”
Moreover, he continued for many clients “the total cost of outsourcing is much more than the price per kilogram they get from a supplier.”
The low-cost, generic API makers in India, for example, are not Hovione’s competitors, Hoffman added.
“Hovione is more than a supplier,” he said, offering “enabling technologies and services supported by the highest quality standards.”