The project – which is scheduled to completed before the end of 2017 – is designed to support production of Vertex’s approved medicines.
Vertex’s approved products are the cystic fibrosis dugs Kalydeco (ivacaftor) and Orkambi (ivacaftor/ lumacaftor).
The firm's former product, the hepatitis drug Incivek (telaprevir) was discontinued in 2014. Vertex cited falling demand for the drug caused by competition from newer hepatitis C treatments.
The new manufacturing facility in East Windsor, New Jersey will house continuous blending capacity, wet and dry granulation systems, fluid bed drying platforms and tableting and coating technologies.
Filipe Gaspar, VP R&D at Hovione, described continuous manufacturing as “as an important scientific advance and an important advance for patients, as the technology will allow us to run manufacturing and process development in parallel with clinical studies.”
News of the collaboration follows a few months after Hovione said it would spend $24m (€22m) to expand production capacity and enhance the New Jersey facility’s potent active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) handling capabilities.
The expansion – which is due to be completed early next year – is expected to create 60 jobs.