The Swiss pharmaceutical services firm Carbogen Amcis will undertake a $110 million expansion program, adding an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility at its site in Hunzenschwil, Switzerland, and building a new facility for parenteral drug products near its site in Riom, France.
In Switzerland, Carbogen plans to install 12 vessels by 2024 with capacity ranging from 630–4,000 L. The new facility in France, designed to supply finished drugs for clinical trials and small-scale commercial use, will include two automated lines—one for liquid filling and lyophilization, and one for liquid-form production—when it opens in 2023. Carbogen also plans to add chromatography equipment and laboratories.
Carbogen CEO Mark Griffiths says the API expansion addresses a need for more capacity after several years of growth. The finished-drug facility targets what he sees as an underserved need for sterile drug production in high-tech areas such as oncology and antibody-drug conjugates at late-stage clinical and early-commercial scale. “We see a big appetite for customers that want small commercial batches, not 50 million vials a month,” he says.
Griffiths anticipates continued growth in pharmaceutical services as companies seek to move production outsourcing back to the US and Europe from China and India—a trend that has accelerated during the pandemic. “They are wandering around looking for capacity, and it’s just not there,” he says.
But he says the primary motivation for the expansion is a forecast of continued demand from small-to-midsize biotech innovators, which have fueled the firm’s growth in recent years.