Johnson Matthey expands Cambridge catalysis facility

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/DigtialStorm
Image: iStock/DigtialStorm

Related tags: Catalysis, Enzyme

Johnson Matthey has expanded its UK biocatalysis R&D operations in response to growing drug industry demand.

The firm has added 20 fume cupboards, two new kilo labs with capacity up to 100 L, a 20 L hastelloy pressure vessel and fermenters for enzyme production at its Cambridge, UK facility.

Strategic Marketing Director, Nicholas Johnson, told us the expansion was prompted by growing pharmaceutical industry demand for catalyst and biocatalyst technologies.  

“Our original Cambridge facility is a centre of excellence focused on route identification for catalytic processes and development of new catalysts,”​ Nicholas Johnson told this publication.

“This expansion now allows us to undertake significant processes development, scale-up and small scale non-GMP manufacture in the same facility for these sustainable and efficient technologies.”

He continued, adding the fine chemical firm will “be looking at their use in small-scale manufacturing, such as the manufacture of APIs to support toxicology studies and other non-GMP manufacturing.

“Additionally, we will be working on the identification and process development of efficient routes for products to be transferred to our global manufacturing network, such as our recently refurbished facilities in Annan, Scotland.”

General expansion

The news comes just months after Johnson Matthey expanded its European API business through the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich’s Pharmorphix division,​ also based in Cambridge.

“This is very much aligned with the Pharmorphix acquisition,”​ Johnson said. “It is part of a general expansion of our capabilities in Cambridge, UK, to support customers going from late-stage discovery and toxicology studies into clinical development. We believe that the co-location of the sites will be highly attractive, providing a broad service offering to customers developing innovative therapies.”

He also told us further investments on the pharma side are likely to come, and the firm will “continue to look at further value-adding opportunities for expansion, potentially including those that will be complementary to the Fine Chemicals Division’s core offerings of Catalysts, Custom Pharma Solutions, Controlled Substances and APIs & Life Cycle Management.”

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