The investment will see the transfer of products between Valeant Pharmaceuticals International’s drugmaking facilities in Steinbach, Manitoba and Laval, Quebec and concentrate on upgrading the sites to ensure regulatory compliance.
“The investments will focus on modernising the plants through upgrading of manufacturing technology to ensure the robust security of products through international distribution channels,” a spokesperson from the firm told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
The Steinbach site will benefit from $7m in upgrades to product manufacturing technology and $8m for the transfer of North American production of Valeant’s semisynthetic antibiotic Xifaxan (rifaximin) and anti-inflammatory drug Apriso (mesalamine).
“Steinbach focuses on the manufacturing of controlled-release products and it is engaged in the formulation, clinical testing, registration, manufacturing, sale and promotion of pharmaceutical products utilizing advanced drug-delivery technologies,” we were told, and currently produces and packages around 1.2 billion tablets
“The investments will also focus on ensuring compliance with US regulatory requirements and maintaining the Steinbach plant's North American manufacturing mandates.”
At Laval, $10m will be used to upgrade product manufacturing technology, while a further $2.5m will be used to transfer production of the firm’s gum disease treatment Arestin (minocycline hydrochloride).
“The investment for Arestin supports enabling a precise production method, including the construction of specialized rooms fitted with electrical power conditioning and reinforced concrete to ensure a vibration-free zone,” the company said.
Historically, Valeant has been vocal in its use of contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) but when asked why the firm was opting to invest in its own sites, the company said it is committed “to grow its operational presence and export capacity there and a desire to leverage the strong talent and innovation at these sites.”
Since 2012, Valeant has transferred 27 manufacturing technologies to Steinbach and numerous to Laval, including the production of antifungal medicine Jublia (efinaconazole) transferred earlier this year.
“It has been Valeant’s stated business strategy to grow its Canadian capacity and increase its export sales.”