The Danish firm said today it planned to invest more than €100m ($113m) at a site in in Chartres, France which is dedicated to production of Novo Nordisk’s insulin drugs and insulin injection devices.
“We have built a very strong organisation in France, and our site in Chartres is today one of our most important strategic production sites,” Novo Nordisk’s CEO Lars Rebien Sørensen said in a statement. “With the coming expansion we will further strengthen Chartres' position in our global product supply organisation.”
The current 31,000m2 Chartres site boasts around 1,100 employees but this investment will grow the workforce over 20%, adding roughly 250 jobs when it becomes fully operational. This is expected within four years.
Global network expansion
The investment follows over €300m spent by the firm on its French production network over the past 15 years, and comes as the latest multi-million dollar investment in Novo Nordisk’s global network.
In 2015 alone the firm committed up to $2bn to expand an API plant in North Carolina and a drug product plant in Denmark in support of its oral GLP-1 analogue pipeline. Meanwhile the firm broke ground on a $225m plant in Denmark set to manufacture haemophilia drugs, while announcing plans for a $78m insulin production plant in Iran, and opening a site in Russia.
The firm previously told us it was unique among the Big Pharma companies in the fact it manufactures nearly all of its products in-house.
“Some components for device systems are outsourced,” spokesman Mike Rulis told our sister publication Biopharma-Reporter last year, “and the API for one of our smaller products is in-licensed [Prandin, a tablet for type 2 diabetes, made by Boehringer Ingelheim],” but everything else is made by Novo Nordisk.
“It serves us well as we can apply and control our same systems such as IT and quality globally,” he continued, and, when asked about the problem of over-capacity experienced by a number of other Big Biopharma firms, said the strategy of gradual expansion has meant it has never been in such a situation.