Eisai adding packaging facility to U.K. plant

Eisai has another plant expansion in the works. After announcing plans in April to build a new plant in China, the Japanese drugmaker now says it will add a new packaging facility in the U.K.

CEO Haruo Naito said the company will invest £8 million to build the packaging facility at its production plant in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. It is being added in anticipation of the launch of new products, including its anticancer product, lenvatinib, now under development.

The new facility will have 2,900 square meters of floor space and sit next to a packaging facility that is 7,800 square meters in size. The addition will include a 400-square-meter area for packaging highly potent compounds. The company said construction is set to begin in September and be ready for product launches in September 2014. Eisai said it expects to add up to 40 jobs at the new facility over the next 5 to 7 years.

Eisai's plant in Hatfield is a global supply center for new products such as anti-epileptic drug Fycompa, a drug analysts say could become a blockbuster. The plant also serves as a production and packaging base for Europe, where it has a high mix of low-volume products packaged in multiple languages.

In April, Eisai said it would start construction in the third quarter on a 2,500-square-meter facility in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China. It will manufacture products like Methycobal, its injected drug for treating peripheral neuropathies, but also will manufacture products aimed at Asia and for Central and South America. That plan is expected to be complete in the first half of next year.

- here's the release