The first phase of a big build-out by West Pharmaceutical Services ($WST) in India is set to go online in about three weeks, the company confirmed today. It is the first plant for the supplier in India, a market that is poised to see significant growth in sterile injectables.
The new plant, which officially opens July 16, will produce seals used in primary packaging of injectable medicines, Emily Denney, head of global communications for West, said in an email Monday. Work on the plant, which is being built in the Sri City Special Economic Zone started in 2012 as West was seeing demand grow in India and Asia.
"When the facility opens, we anticipate a reduction in lead times for supply to our customers in India," Denney said. "By leveraging our global sourcing activities and process engineering expertise, we will be able to carefully manage the overall costs of production."
Pharmabiz reported Monday that the opening was imminent. Denney declined to give details on the plant, saying the specifics would be outlined in a formal announcement July 16. When West first announced its intentions, it said the plant would be its first in India and would kickoff a 10-year building plan to create a 37,700-square-meter (406,000-square-foot) complex for West. It said then that the first phase would be a 15,300-square-meter (165,000-square-foot) metal seal assembly and compression molding facility to produce metal and elastomeric pharmaceutical components for injectable drug packaging. Its plans called for manufacturing its standard elastomeric components at the facility a year later and ready-to-sterilize components beginning in 2016.
Sterile injectable drugs are a growing part of the industry and India plays a major role in that market. Last year, Mylan ($MYL) paid $1.75 billion to pick up Agila Specialities, the sterile injectables unit of India's Strides Arcolab. While Agila has plants throughout the world, Mylan told Indian officials that it had big plans for its operations in that country. It said its goal is to become the largest maker of sterile injectables in India and would more than triple production by 2017 to 600 million units from about 180 million Agila was producing in country at the time.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Bridgewater, NJ-based Amneal Pharmaceuticals was negotiating to buy cancer drugmaker Epsilon Pharmaceuticals to expand its manufacturing capabilities in sterile injectable drugs.
- here's the Pharmabiz story