Eisai opens new plants targeting Asia and Europe

Japanese drugmaker Eisai opened two new plants--one targeting products for Asia and the other aimed at Europe--as part of its plans to expand its global manufacturing operations.

In separate announcements, Eisai said construction was completed for its plant in China that will make parenteral products. The new 2,500-square-meter facility is located near a plant the company already has in Suzhou, Jiangsu.

With completion of the new Chinese facility, Eisai hopes to tap into the growing demand in China for products like its Methycobal, an injected drug for treating peripheral neuropathies. The company has said the plant will be large enough to produce products for other emerging markets in Asia and Central and South America, a design that is expected to keep unit costs lower.

Eisai also said construction was completed ahead of schedule for a plant addition to its U.K. production facility in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and an opening ceremony was held last week. The new 2,900-square-meter facility will serve as a global supply center for products like the antiepileptic agent Fycompa, as well as a production and packaging base for European countries.

The Hatfield facility, which now has a total floor space of 7,800 square meters when the preexisting plant is included, was specifically designed to cope with highly potent compounds to handle the packaging of Eisai's investigational anticancer agent that goes by the generic name lenvatinib. The company said the plant will serve as the global supply center for lenvatinib.

Last spring, Eisai opened up a sales and marketing office in Moscow to sell its breast cancer drug Halaven in the country. Eisai said at the time it planned to also market its epilepsy drugs Zonegran and Exalief and go to Russian regulators there for approval of Fycompa and Inovelon. The company forecast the Russian drug market to reach $60 billion by 2020.

The company didn't release dollar amounts related to construction of the two new facilities.

- see the China release
- check out the U.K. release