Penn opens high-potency manufacturing plant

The lag time between the groundbreaking of a drug-manufacturing plant and when it is completed is usually measured in years. But Penn Pharma says in the case of its new facility in Wales, it was able to cut that time to months.

The contract manufacturer announced the new 15,000-square-foot facility in April 2012 and now says its first batch of coated tablets has been run through its production lines. The company spent about £14 million ($22.3 million) to build the contained facility at its base in South Wales to manufacture high-potency solid compounds.  

The market for highly potent drugs has been growing rapidly, and contract manufacturers have been jumping in to get a piece of that market. Transparency Market Research last year estimated the High Potency Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPIs) market would nearly double to $17.5 billion in 2018 from $9.1 billion in 2011.

CMO Novasep last year said it was investing €3 million ($3.7 million) to expand its HPAPI production at its Le Mans, France, facility. The company said it was looking to bolster its production of anticancer APIs because of the ballooning demand for those products. Spain's Idifarma got approval this year for its plant in Navarra to manufacture small batches of commercial product, including cytotoxics, cytostatics and hormonals, but the plant can also now be used for small batches of commercial product.

- here's the release