Cork, Ireland, 22nd April, 2009 - Hovione held today the opening ceremony of its new active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing site in Cork. Hovione contracted with Pfizer last December to take over the site that had been manufacturing Lipitor® since 1997. The handover of the plant took place on April 6th and the transaction closed on the 8th; going forward Hovione will continue to perform a small amount of manufacture for Pfizer but will mostly make use of the available capacity to address its own production needs.
Hovione is a specialist developer and manufacturer and the Cork site will be used to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for a large range of pharmaceutical companies both large and small worldwide. Many customers find it more cost effective and less risky to manufacture APIs externally by a specialist, and see a contractor as a more flexible option that transforms fixed into variable costs, reduces risk, provides added value and assured results. By being the manufacturing partner to a large number of Innovators, Hovione is able to make sure its capacity is more readily occupied than if it was limited to producing in-house products, and is also thereby able to reduce production costs and the investment risk of equipping itself with the latest technologies.
Hovione's research centres -in New Jersey, USA and Lisbon, Portugal- assure the development and manufacture of clinical trial materials for a growing number of compounds, exceeding 40 last year alone. As these products progressed through clinical development, and some got ready for filing, Hovione felt it needed additional capacity to ensure it could continue to guaranty absolute assurance of supply to its customers. The Cork site addresses perfectly this need as it provides state-of-the-art manufacturing capacity and experienced staff precisely at the right moment.
"This site has been the API engine behind Lipitor®, the most successful medicine ever. It is with this heritage that it joins the Hovione group and embraces the opportunities that come with a new business model. We will be transferring to the Cork site a number of compounds over the next 18 months – some were recently approved, others are growing fast and customers are looking for second sources, and finally Hovione’s rich pipe-line of Phase III compounds need to have registration batches done at their commercial site of manufacture” - said Lorcan MacGarry, Hovione Cork's General Manager.
Over the last two years Hovione acquired two new, virtually empty, plants -Cork in Ireland, and Taizhou in China-. The latter is dedicated to serving generics with a high volume low cost strategy value proposition; the former is the ideal plant for a new product introduction for an Innovator that does not possess in-house API production. In this period Hovione has doubled manufacturing capacity to more than 1000m3 and now employs over 900 staff. Over the last 3 years Hovione sales have grown at 14% average per annum.
“The combination of the Cork Site’s team and capabilities, with the custom synthesis business model is an unbeatable value proposition. This allows the pharma innovator company to have the best of both worlds – access to excellent facilities with best service and high levels of compliance without fixed costs and with capacity available on demand – and all this at the right address” said Guy Villax, Chief Executive.
Hovione is an international company with 50 years’ experience in Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient development and compliant manufacture. With four FDA inspected sites in the US, China, Ireland and Portugal the company focuses on the most demanding customers, in the most regulated markets. The company also offers integrated API, particle design and formulation development and manufacturing. In the inhalation area, Hovione is the only independent company offering such a broad range of services.