Otsuka expanding oncology API production

Otsuka logo on office wall
Otsuka Holdings will invest about $62.9 million to expand API production for oncology drugs at the Saitama, Japan plant of its subsidiary Taiho Pharmaceutical.

A month after Daiichi Sankyo announced plans for a major investment in cancer drug production, Japanese compatriot Otsuka said it is planning to do the same thing.

Otsuka Holdings will invest about 7 billion yen ($62.9 million) to expand a facility operated by its subsidiary Taiho Pharmaceutical, in which it has concentrated most of its oncology work, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

The addition to a plant in Saitama, Japan is expected to increase production capacity ten-fold when it opens in 2019. Currently the company is having to rely on contractors, the newspaper said.

 In 2015, Otsuka won FDA approval for Lonsurf, a two-drug therapy for colorectal cancer.

Otsuka’s expansion in oncology production comes even as peer Daiichi Sankyo is doing the same thing. In April, Daiichi Sankyo said it would invest about $135 million in its manufacturing operations in Japan as its looks to targeted cancer drugs to help fuel its future.

 The company announced it will initially spend ¥15 billion to build and refurbish manufacturing lines at three of the company’s plants in Japan to produce antibody-drug conjugates (ADC).