Amgen CEO Robert Bradway hinted several years ago that the company was on the "cusp" of a new manufacturing process for making cell-based drugs that would upend the industry, being faster and cheaper. Today, Amgen said that time has arrived, with completion in Singapore of a $200 million plant that incorporates continuous processing.
A small generics maker from the U.K. has decided on Birmingham, AL, for its first manufacturing facility, enticed there by a hefty dose of incentives.
The biotech arm of Spain's Grupo Chemo earlier this year bought a contract manufacturer in Spain specializing in monoclonal antibodies as part of its ambitions to produce biosimilars. Now its pharma division will get two manufacturing plants in Turkey and a portfolio of products with an acquisition there.
Neopharma, based in the United Arab Emirates, will build a plant in a new industrial city being developed in the south of the country. B.R. Shetty, who controls both Neopharma and New Medical Center Group of Companies, has pledged to spend 1 billion Saudi riyals ($266.5 million) to build both a drug manufacturing facility and a hospital in Jarzan City.
Earlier this year, AMRI paid $110 million for injectable drug specialist Oso Biopharmaceuticals Manufacturing, expecting to make some extra money in its contract manufacturing operations. Instead, a power loss at that company's facility in New Mexico was a big factor in it reporting a loss in the last quarter.
A couple of years ago, Dendreon sold off a manufacturing plant to Novartis for $40 million-plus to raise some quick cash. Now, someone can pick up its two remaining manufacturing facilities, a logistics center and headquarters in Seattle and its one-time promising drug, Provenge, for as little as $275 million.
Planning to expand its production capacity in Russia and the former Soviet Republic, Germany's Fresenius Kabi agreed this year to partner up with Binnopharm, a Moscow-based drugmaker that has two manufacturing facilities making IV drugs, infusion solutions and active pharmaceutical ingredients, not unlike Fresenius. But the political situation in Russia has made that too difficult, so Fresenius and Binnopharm are exploring other ways to work together.
While other drugmakers have been putting up drug manufacturing facilities left and right in China, Roche has been more conservative in its approach there. Now it will invest significantly to build a manufacturing facility to make lab tests.
After tainted Chinese heparin in 2008 led to dozens of deaths of dialysis patients in the U.S., global regulators started touting the need for heparin makers to be able to track back sources to ensure they were safe. German meat company T ö nnies saw an opportunity there, bought a German heparin API maker and started building a brand-new plant. That facility was dedicated this week and will start producing heparin intermediates this year.
Baxter International will spend $10 million to expand its pharma admixing capacity in Canada.