Pharmaceutical facility news in brief

pharmafile | February 8, 2011 | News story | Manufacturing and Production Baxter International, Famar, Lannett, Qatar Pharma, Sanofi-Aventis, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co 

A round-up of news involving manufacturing facilities includes updates from Takeda, Famar/Sanofi, Qatar Pharma, Lannett and Baxter.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Co has completed the construction of its 5.5 billion yen ($70m) antibody manufacturing facility in Hikari, Japan, which got underway in March 2010. The 4,400 sq.m. unit is the first operated by Takeda to specialise in antibodies and will be used to make investigational drugs for clinical trials. Takeda has set up a dedicated antibody development division based around its Millennium Pharmaceuticals’ subsidiary which it acquired in 2008.

Spanish drugmaker Famar has agreed to take over the day-to-day administration of Sanofi-Aventis‘ manufacturing plant in Madrid, which specialises in producing solid and sterile drug forms including freeze-dried preparations. The two companies have formed a partnership for developing the manufacturing activity of the plant, and Sanofi-Aventis will continue to source certain products from the site. Famar has an ongoing project to boost the plant’s sterile production capabilities, which will be offered on a outsourced basis to third parties.

The first pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Qatar was officially opened earlier this month in Doha. Qatar Pharma has a 20,000 sq.m. production unit which cost around QR250 million ($70m) to set up and will initially concentrate on making parenteral products and intravenous solutions. A second QR300 million unit will be added next year and will make dialysis filters, blood bags and sutures, while a third QR300 million unit scheduled to start construction in 2014 will be able to produce various dosage forms including tablets, capsules and creams.

US generic drugmaker Lannett has said the FDA is planning to carry out a Pre-approval Inspection (PAI) of its manufacturing facility in Philadelphia and, if successful, it should be on track for approval of its morphine sulfate oral solution product. Prior inspections at the plant revealed certain quality violations which have delayed the approval of the morphine product and some other generic drugs, according to the company.

A man has been killed and two others injured in an accident at Baxter International‘s blood products facility in Atwater Village, Los Angeles. The men were reported to be using detergent to clean a blood storage tank at the plant but were overcome by ethanol fumes, according to an ABC News bulletin. Operations at the plant were unaffected.

Phil Taylor

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