Cambrex makes 'Pharma 3' plant operational after equipment delivery delays

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Cambrex's Pharma 3 facility in Charles City, Iowa
Cambrex's Pharma 3 facility in Charles City, Iowa

Related tags Capacity utilization Delay Tom delay

Cambrex has brought a delayed Iowa API facility online and completed work on a shell plant that can be tailored to specific projects. 

The US contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) announced that the facility – known as Pharma 3 - in Charles City, Iowa became fully operational after the completion of validation work last month.

Plans for Pharma 3 were announced last February when Cambrex predicted it would be up and running “early” this year.

However, in May the firm announced a delay citing late equipment deliveries and installation challenges.

A spokesman told us “While delays in equipment delivery and a few installation challenges caused us to push the start-up date back, we successfully adjusted the site's production schedule to ensure that we continue to meet customer demand and the facility is now fully operational​.”

Pharma 4

Cambrex has also constructed a manufacturing shell – Pharma 4 - that can be fitted out in response to specific project needs.

In April CFO Greg Sargen who told investors Pharma 4 would not be made operational before 2017.

We'll get Pharma 3 up and running and see how that acceleration of the capacity utilization goes, see how orders come in on the back half of the year, see how some of our late stage projects progress.

And probably towards the end of this year or early 2017 we'll have a much better bead on timing of Pharma 4​.”

According to Cambrex’ first quarter results revenue for the three months to March increased 20% to $93.9m (€81.7m) due to higher demand for APIs.

Margins also improved – from 37% to 41% - thanks in part to higher capacity utilization. Operating profit increased from $12.7 to $21.4m.

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