Next year, Merck KGaA plans to start a biomass heating plant in the U.S. but for now is starting on a project in India that will use cashew and coconut shells, recycling a local waste product into biomass fuel.
When AbbVie announced its plans for a $320 million bulk manufacturing facility in Singapore in February, it said it would be its first in Asia when it was ready to roll near the end of the decade. But the drugmaker has now picked up a smaller API plant in Singapore and it will be up and running in 2016.
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced a new project in Ireland earlier this month, followed by Amgen's completion of a continuous processing facility in Singapore. Now AstraZeneca says it needs more biologics capacity and will spend in excess of $200 million to build out a facility in Maryland.
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.