Mylan expansions roll on

Mylan's $1.6 billion buyout of India's Agila Specialties has been grabbing industry attention internationally. India finally granted the generic drugmaker the go-ahead this week to complete the buyout of the sterile injectables unit of Strides Arcolab. But in Vermont the big news is the much more modest expansion of Mylan's ($MYLN) transdermal patch facility in St. Albans.

The company didn't put a dollar figure on the 85,000-square-foot, three-story expansion project but said it will bring total operating space at the Mylan Technologies facility to 391,000 square feet. The project took 14 months to complete. Mylan said as a result of the expansion it is adding 160 new jobs to the 590 already at the transdermal patch facility. Mylan got into the transdermal patch business more than 20 years ago when it bought the facility in St. Albans from Bertek Labeling for $39 million.

Patches are a specialty product, and not many companies make them. In August 2012, Swiss drug-delivery specialist Acino opened a €20 million ($24.7 million) plant at its Miesbach, Germany, site to produce a new birth-control patch for Bayer.

While Mylan celebrated the new plant with a ribbon cutting in Vermont, the bigger news was still India's approval of its deal to buy Agila. There has been concern in India that Mylan might stop making some of the low-cost drugs for the domestic market that Agila currently manufactures. Mylan pledged to expand production for the domestic market, but The Economic Times, citing confidential sources, reported that India made approval of the deal contingent upon it. It says the company must maintain current production levels of drugs on the country's essential medicine list for the next 5 years. Once the deal is completed, Mylan will be one of the largest makers of sterile injectable drugs in the world.

- here's the Mylan transdermal plant announcement
- read The Economic Times story