Sector News

Novo starts construction on $1.8B plant in U.S.

March 30, 2016
Life sciences

Novo Nordisk has started construction, at least symbolically, on its $1.8 billion project in Clayton, NC, part of a two-continent manufacturing expansion that will give it the production heft it needs in the U.S., which now accounts for half of its business. And while construction is just getting started, 100 new employees are already on board.

The Danish diabetes drug maker held its ceremonial groundbreaking on Monday to mark the start of construction on its first API plant in the U.S. When complete in 2020, the new facility will manufacture the active ingredients for oral semaglutide, its experimental daily oral treatment for Type 2 diabetes, as well as other current and future Novo insulin products.

The company said Monday that the 833,000-square-foot facility will have a footprint of 417,639 square feet, which it said equates to about 7 football fields. The plant will sit adjacent to Novo’s current manufacturing facilities in Clayton: a 457,000-square-foot facility which handles formulation, filling and packaging of diabetes meds. When the new plant is complete, the company will add about 700 jobs to its site in Clayton.

Even before construction began, the company added its first 100 new employees for the project, Novo’s Gary Lohr told FiercePharmaManufacturing in a telephone interview Monday. Lohr serves as a project director and is deputy site head for diabetes active pharmaceutical ingredients in the U.S. Lohr explained that Novo has hired some engineers and quality assurance folks who are helping with the design portion of the project but will shift over to operating the plant when it is ready to go.

“Earth work” is next at the site, as design details are finished up over the next 6 months. It will take about three years to complete all of the construction and another two “to do all of the qualification and compliance related activity,” Lohr said.

The new plant is not only Novo’s first API facility in the U.S, it is also Novo’s first outside of its home in Denmark. A diabetes epidemic in the U.S. has dramatically pushed up demand for Novo products, making a plant in the U.S. a logical step in manufacturing, Lohr said. “Demand is growing, and the U.S. is the focus for our new GLP-1 drug, which is in Phase III trials,” Lohr said, “so the need for the plant is demand and capacity-driven.”

The Clayton buildup is part of $2 billion expansion the drugmaker announced it August, which also includes a new production facility in Måløv, Denmark. That facility will handle tableting and packaging of oral semaglutide as well as other oral meds it develops. The $200 million investment in Måløv will create roughly another 100 jobs there.

By Eric Palmer

Source: Fierce Pharma MAnufacturing

comments closed

Related News

January 29, 2023

Colorcon, Inc. signs Put agreement with intent to acquire controlled atmosphere packaging specialist Airnov Healthcare Packaging

Life sciences

Airnov provides critical healthcare industries with high-quality, controlled atmosphere packaging, to protect their products from moisture and oxygen. The business has manufacturing facilities in the USA, France, China and India and employs around 700 people.

January 29, 2023

Takeda pledges up to $1.13B for rights to Hutchmed’s cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China

Life sciences

Takeda of Japan has partnered with Hong Kong-based Hutchmed, gaining the commercial rights to colorectal cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China for $400 million up front, plus $730 million in potential milestone payments. Takeda also will help develop fruquintinib, which can be applied to subtypes of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer, regardless of biomarker status, the companies said.

January 29, 2023

Vir taps Bayer dealmaker Marianne De Backer as its next CEO

Life sciences

On April 3, Scangos, who’s been chief executive officer at Vir since the start of 2017, will hand over the reins to Marianne De Backer, Ph.D. De Backer comes over from Bayer, where she currently heads up pharmaceutical strategy, business development and licensing. Alongside her CEO appointment, De Backer is set to join Vir’s board of directors, the company said Wednesday.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach