Daiichi Sankyo: looming Benicar patent loss and large molecule focus prompted plant closure

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

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iStock/pichet_w

Related tags: Daiichi sankyo, Molecule

Closure of its Benicar intermediates plant was prompted by impending US patent loss and a decision to focus on large molecule drugs says Daiichi Sankyo.

The firm announced the closure of the facility in Hiratsuka, Japan last week, citing a desire to restructure its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing network and enhance operations at its subsidiary, Daiichi Sankyo Chemical Pharma.

Daiichi told us “with the upcoming loss of exclusivity for olmesartan, in general it’s necessary for the company to reduce the cost of goods.

Moreover, as a part of the new 5-year business plan announced on March 31, it's also necessary to transform Daiichi Sankyo’s manufacturing structure since the Daiichi Sankyo R&D pipeline will be shifted from low molecular weight compounds to oncology and biologic products​.”

In addition to being the main production hub for olmesartan intermediates, the Hiratsuka facility also makes the API for Daiichi’s non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) Loxonin (loxoprofen).

The firm told us production of both will be switched to other plants, explaining that “API and intermediates will be transferred to other DSCP plants, and intermediates of investigational drugs will be moved to the DSCP Odawara Plant​.”

Production in Hiratsuka is due to end in March 2017, with the official closure of the facility scheduled for the following September.

Daiichi employs 150 staff at the plant. The firm told us “the transfer of staff to other plants will be considered in the future.”

The first of Daiichi’s US Benicar patents expires on April 25​.

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