Merck completes expansion of Madrid Gonal-f API plant
The German drug manufacturer announced it had finished work on the €15m expansion of the facility in the Madrid municipality Tres Cantos this week.
Simon Sturge, Chief Operating Officer of Merck’s biopharma business, cited increasing demand for the firm’s “core portfolio of medicines” as a driver for the investment.
The Madrid site is already the main global production hub for the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for Merck’s fertility treatment Gonal-f and growth hormone disorders treatment Saizen.
Demand for Gonal-f has increased in recent months. According to Merck’s Q2 financial results the drug generated revenue of €209m ($229m) in the second quarter, which is an increase of 23% on the year earlier period.
Around 75% of this growth came from the North America, which Merck said was a result of “a continued advantageous competitive situation.”
Merck’s product has benefited from a number of recalls of rival products in recent years. In 2015, Ferring Pharmaceutical pulled several lots of its rival product Bravelle after tests revealed it did not meet potency requirements.
More recently Merck’s unrelated US namesake Merck & Co said it had encountered problems making Follistim, another rival to Gonal-f.