French CMO Fareva adds 4 facilities, more than 1,000 employees in Euro growth spurt

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Fareva is working on terms for two plants—one in France and one in Austria—now owned by Merck & Co. and Novartis, respectively. (Pixabay)(Pixabay/Free-Photos)

Despite COVID-19 uncertainty, the market for contract pharmaceutical manufacturing continues to grow, and some midlevel players are looking to expand. Now, a French CMO is looking to scale up in its home country and abroad to keep up with demand.

Fareva plans to bolt on four manufacturing sites across France and Austria to boost its sterile injectable and monoclonal antibody production. The new facilities will bring more than 1,000 employees into the fold, the company said.

Of those four sites, Fareva has finalized terms for two—at Idron and Saint-Julien-en-Genevois in France—with French pharma firm Pierre-Fabre Group. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Idron "pilot plant" holds 200 employees and 10 commercial lines dedicated to sterile injectables, Fareva said, and will go online at the end of 2021. The smaller Saint-Julien-en-Genevois site employs more than 30 workers and specializes in producing monoclonal antibodies.

RELATED: CMO Fareva opens U.S. aerosol plant, adding more than 80 jobs

Meanwhile, Fareva is also in "exclusive negotiations" to secure two additional sites from Merck & Co. and Novartis, the CMO said in a release.

The Merck plant in Mirabel, France, employs 350 workers specializing in injectable antibiotics and other sterile medicines, Fareva said. That site has the ability to expand its capacity and would act as a backup production facility for the company's other sites.

Fareva is also angling to pick up Novartis' plant in Unterach, Austria, which manufactures high-potency prefilled syringes, ampoules and lyophilized vials, Fareva said. The Unterach site employs 500 workers.

The major expansion in the EU comes a few years after Fareva looked to beef up its footprint in the U.S. In December 2016, Fareva opened a $40 million aerosol production facility at its Richmond, Virginia, site. Fareva said the plant has a capacity to manufacture about 100 million aerosol cans annually and would add 80 to 100 jobs to pick up the work.

According to its website, Fareva operates in 11 countries with 39 factories and employs around 12,000 workers.