BASF moves some production from Illinois to Germany

German chemical maker BASF ($BASF) is moving production of its pharmaceutical solubility agent Kolliphor TMTPGS from its plant in Kankakee, IL, to a manufacturing facility in Minden, Germany.

Citing a BASF executive, PBR reports the move is being made because it allows for a more centralized production facility, reduces complexity in the production setup and allows for future expansion. Dr. Thorsten Schmeller, who leads global marketing of new products at BASF's global pharma ingredients and services unit, said the Minden site has been manufacturing APIs for 70 years and is regularly inspected by the FDA and other authorities.

The shift to Germany will begin in the first quarter of 2013 and be completed by the first quarter of 2014. 

BASF spokesman Andres-Christian Orthofer told FiercePharmaManufacturing today in an email that the transfer to Minden, "will not affect employees or contract workers on the Kankakee site. The respective production staff will be reassigned to other plants on site. This decision in no way reflects on the hard work and dedication of employees at the site." He also said production in Germany will be handled by the exisiting workforce there.

BASF says it intends to manufacture Kolliphor TPGS in Kankakee until operations are ready in Minden and that a "generous supply of overlap" will allow for a seamless transition.

Kolliphor TPGS is a water-soluble derivative of vitamin E that enhances the bioavailability of poorly soluble active substances. It is commonly used in pharmaceutical and nutritional formulations, BASF said.

This is the second move related to solubility product production the German company has announced in recent weeks. Last month it said it was working with Catalent to market technology to address drug solubility issues to help companies formulate optimal-dose form from development through scale-up and supply. 

- here's the PBR story
- get more details from the BASF release