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October 15, 2001
Volume 79, Number 42
CENEAR 79 42 p. 8
ISSN 0009-2347
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Several companies announce expansion plans, new ventures at annual expo


The world's fine chemicals industry once again put its expertise on display last week in London at the 12th annual Conference on Pharmaceutical Ingredients & Intermediates (CPhI). Concerns that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks would adversely affect attendance generally proved unfounded. And although some U.S. and Japanese regulars were absent, there was the usual spate of announcements.

Degussa announced that its fine chemicals business unit will increase sales at least 25% over the next several years from the current level of roughly $920 million. Among its supporting plans is the expansion of its exclusive synthesis business in new active pharmaceutical ingredients. It also plans a new plant in Edmonton, Alberta, for synthesis development and production of new pharmaceutical actives, and it has brought its new $13 million plant and laboratory in Galena, Kan., through successful U.S. FDA inspections for custom production of the new ectoparasiticide S-methoprene.

Degussa plans to optimize its global integrated production system. Following the acquisition of Britain's fine chemicals producer Laporte, Degussa has production at 18 sites on three continents, but now, says Peter Nagler, head of the business unit, "the challenge is to intelligently combine the strengths of the different sites."

Lonza unveiled plans to expand microbial fermentation manufacturing at its Kourim facility in the Czech Republic. The company will spend $2.3 million to boost capacity by 50% and add downstream processing facilities.

Meanwhile, Avecia and Bayer both announced investments in the kilogram-scale manufacture of pharmaceutical ingredients. Avecia will build a pilot plant at its Huddersfield, England, site designed for fast changeovers between products in the early phase of development. Bayer will build a cGMP "kilo lab" in Leverkusen, Germany, to open in the fourth quarter of next year.

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