Sumitomo Enhances Pharmaceuticals Production in Oita
Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (Sumitomo Chemical) and Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals) have agreed to enhance their pharmaceuticals production setup by implementing a couple of measures, i.e. building a new production facility for bulk pharmaceuticals, making the existing bulk production unit available for the exclusive manufacture of the carbapenem antibiotic meropenem (Meropen®) and constructing a new formulation plant for the meropenem, all within the site of Sumitomo Chemicals Oita Works in Japan.
With respect to major pharmaceuticals, such as Amlodin® (therapeutics for hypertension and angina pectoris), Sediel® (serotonin-agonist antianxiety drug) and Meropen®, Sumitomo Chemical manufactures and supplies bulk substances to Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals, who then formulate them at its plant in Ibaraki City, a location far distant from Oita. Thanks to the continuing sales growth, both in Japan and abroad, as well as to the launching of new products over the recent years, the bulk pharmaceuticals facility in Oita has been running at full capacity with virtually no room left for the production of other new products or samples for clinical trials. The enhancement of bulk production capability undertaken this time will enable the two companies to satisfy an increasing market demand for their pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, the installation of the meropenem formulation facility in close proximity to its bulk production unit will improve the efficiency of the overall production significantly. All of these facilities will be in compliance with the global standard requirements of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), which will be applied increasingly to pharmaceuticals production facilities as the international harmonization of the GMP regulations will continue to advance in the future.
The two companies combined capital expenditure for the entire project will be approximately 10 billion yen. Construction of the new bulk pharmaceuticals facility will commence in the spring of 2002, and its completion is scheduled for the spring of 2003, while work to build the dedicated meropenem bulk production facility already began in this September. The meropenem formulation plant will begin its construction in the summer of 2002, with its completion in autumn 2003.