Outsourcing Outlook: A Capacity for Excess - - BioPharm International


Outsourcing Outlook: A Capacity for Excess

BioPharm International

Baxter Expanding Parenteral Operations One segment of the market that seems assured of having plenty of capacity is contract parenteral manufacturing. Fill-and-finish contractors are in the midst of a $400 to $500 million investment boom that will substantially increase filling and lyophilization capacity.

Baxter Pharmaceutical Solutions (BPS) is the latest to announce a massive investment program. BPS will invest $100 million in the 120,000-ft2 expansion of its parenteral manufacturing capacity, including more filling lines for vials and prefilled syringes, a new lyophilization unit, and laboratory space. The expansion at BPS’s Bloomington, IN, location will nearly double the company’s prefilled syringe capacity, taking it to almost 235 million units annually. The expansion program will be spread over three years, with the initial phase expected to be completed in 2005.

Aside from the scale of the investment, the BPS announcement is significant because it indicates that BPS clients will have access to parent company Baxter Healthcare’s portfolio of formulation and drug delivery technologies for poorly soluble drugs. These include the Nanoedge technologies Baxter licensed from RTP Pharma in 2001 and the controlled release protein and pulmonary delivery technologies the company gained when it acquired Epic Therapeutics in 2002.

It looks as if formulation technology may begin to rival process technology as a competitive factor in the fill and finish sector. With so much investment in capacity, it makes sense that companies will try to differentiate themselves along other dimensions. BPI

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