Siegfried building plant in China

Switzerland-based contract manufacturer Siegfried has decided to join those companies that are building in China, even as it expands other parts of its manufacturing operations.

The company said Monday that it broke ground last month for a production plant in Nantong that will have a capacity of 300 cubic meters. The company expects to start commercial production there in the middle of next year and have a workforce of 300 in place by 2015.

But that's not the only expansion going on with Siegfried. In its 6-month financial report, the company said it had invested in "targeted" expansion at its plant in Pennsville, NJ, as well as in a production facility in Malta, adding headcount along the way. In Zofingen, Switzerland, it plans to build a chemical plant with a capacity of 100 cubic meters to replace several older buildings that are inefficient and require too much maintenance. The plants in Nantong and Zofingen are using compatible technology to make transfers between the two more efficient, the company said. In addition, the company is adding a new administration building in Zofingen. The offices are expected to be ready in the second half of 2015.

The Swiss firm reported that first-half revenues grew 10% to CHF 196.7 million ($213.1 million). That was helped by a 3.5% bump in active pharmaceutical ingredient sales, fueled in part by growing demand for controlled substances. Arena ($ARNA) has previously said it has a long-term agreement for Siegfried to make the API for its obesity drug Belviq, which the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) cleared for production in May. Siegfried also said its earnings this year have been boosted by last year's acquisition of Irvine, CA-based Alliance Medical Products. That $58 million buyout moved the CMO into sterile filling services.

Of course, lots of other companies are also adding production facilities of various kinds in China. In June, Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim said it would team up with Zhangjiang Biotech & Pharmaceutical Base Development Company (ZJ Base) in Pudong, Shanghai, to build a €35 million ($44.9 million) biologics plant under BI's tutelage. They intend to manufacture biologics on a contract basis for companies both inside and outside of China. The two expect the plant to be up and operating in 2016.

- here's the release