Spain's Idifarma sweats the small stuff

Most contract manufacturers make a big deal about how expanded capacity allows them to do bigger projects. A Spanish contract research organization says its facility is really about doing the small stuff.

Idifarma's GMP plant in Navarra generally produces products for clinical trials but was recently approved by regulators in Spain for additional uses, the company said. That includes commercial batches of tablets with a high level of specialization such as cytotoxics, cytostatics and hormonals, but the plant also can now be used for small batches of commercial product.

It "allows us to introduce ourselves as an ideal commercial manufacturer for existing products that require a manufacturing facility like ours, either because they need small-sized batches or because of their high containment requirements," said Ángel Ursúa, the company's QP/technical director.

Idifarma spokesman Manuel Leal told that it will pitch its new services to both drug companies and contract manufacturers. "Our new capabilities are ideal for smaller projects that may be a hassle for larger CMOs to accommodate and for Big Pharma firms developing high value drugs that only require two or three small batches a year." He said the plant can manufacture batches up to 60 kilograms in size.

With Spain's government cutting way back on drug spending, companies are looking for new ways to generate revenue.

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