Projects in India, Belgium expand OmniChem's API capacities

Ajinomoto OmniChem, the Belgium-based maker of highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates, has commissioned a new plant in Wetteren, Belgium, one of two projects to expand capacity.

With the growth of generic drugs, API manufacturers have been expanding. About 80% of APIs go to a generics market expected to reach $231 billion by 2017, up from $124 billion in 2010.

The facility increases OmniChem's capacity in class 5 HPAPIs by 11,200-liter reactor capacity. It has two production lines equipped with vessels of 1,600 liters and 4,000 liters. The plant also has large scale isolation and powder handling equipment, according to the company. OmniChem currently has two sites in Wetteren with a total capacity of 7,300 liters.

The new plant comes on line at about the same time that Granules-OmniChem, OmniChem's 50/50 joint venture with Granules India, has broken ground on a facility in India. The initial phase of that plant, slated to open early next year, will have a capacity of 112 m³, according to Thierry Van Nieuwenhove, business unit director for Ajinomoto OmniChem.

This is OmniChem's first foray into India, and officials previously told the Business Standard the plant could mean a 30% savings in production costs and 50% savings in capital costs.

"These two major steps are important milestones in OmniChem's future strategy, to remain a long-term partner and service provider to the pharmaceutical industry," Van Nieuwenhove said.

- see the release
- read the Business Standard story