Penn Pharma to expand plant opened in May

Penn Pharma two months ago started up production at a new plant in South Wales to manufacture high-potency solid compounds. Demand in that area is so intense, the U.K. company is now prepared to make another sizeable investment to expand capacity.

In May, Penn opened the £14 million ($21.3 million), 15,000-square-foot contained facility at its base in South Wales. It had fast-tracked the facility, moving from the initial announcement to starting production in just over a year. But the market for highly potent drugs has been growing rapidly, and contract manufacturers have been jumping in to get a piece of that market. Penn CEO Richard Yarwood said Penn is seeing an uptick in business already. The company intends to invest another £3 million ($4.56 million) in the facility to grab more of that business. "We are making this additional significant investment to meet our growing customer demands," Yarwood said.

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.

Other contract manufacturers also are cashing in on this trend. Taiwan-based ScinoPharm is building a $37.6 million plant in Taiwan to manufacture high potency cytotoxic compounds to be used in injectable cancer drugs. The plant is slated to open in 2014. CMO Novasep last year plowed €3 million ($3.93 million) into 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.

- here's the release

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