Piramal Pharma Solutions invests $75m in UK ADC and API facilities

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

The ceremonial groundbreaking at the Grangemouth site: Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Scottish Government and Peter DeYoung, CEO, Piramal Pharma Solutions. Pic: Piramal.
The ceremonial groundbreaking at the Grangemouth site: Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Scottish Government and Peter DeYoung, CEO, Piramal Pharma Solutions. Pic: Piramal.

Related tags ADC Antibody drug conjugates Uk Manufacturing

CDMO Piramal Pharma Solutions will expand capabilities of its Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) facility in Grangemouth, Scotland; and invest in new Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) infrastructure at its Morpeth, England facility.

Combined, the expansions and upgrades represent an investment of £55m ($74.6m) in drug development and manufacturing capabilities in the UK, as well as providing new employment opportunities for technical and operational staff.

Grangemouth site ADC expansion

In the first phase of the Grangemouth site expansion, two new ADC manufacturing suites will be added to the existing three sites.

This will more than double Piramal’s ADC production capabilities, with the company noting increased demand for commercial ADCs, coupled with a strong pipeline for clinical materials.

The site is geared specifically towards the development and manufacture of ADCs, and serves the global market with a focus on development treatments targeting cancer/oncology.

The new build has been designed to accommodate further expansion, with planned future phases that include a new sterile fill/finish suite dedicated to ADCs and two additional large-scale manufacturing suites capable of handling increased batch sizes. A new customer experience center will also help clients who are visiting the site during development or manufacturing.

Piramal Pharma Solutions considers itself a leader in ADC development and manufacturing, with hundreds of payloads developed and more than a thousand ADC batches manufactured.  When complete, the expansion will enhance PPS’ standing significantly by increasing ADC capacity at the Grangemouth site. The new facility will be fully supported by analytical laboratories (Quality Control, Cell-based Assay and Enzyme-Linked Immune Sorbent Assay [ELISA], Good Manufacturing Practice [GMP]), warehousing, and administrative offices, all housed in a purpose-built facility.  

PPS’s Grangemouth facility boasts two significant ADC capabilities: fit-for-purpose rapid development for early clinical materials and robust, scalable late phase development to support pivotal trials and commercial launch.

“By combining these skills with offerings from our other 13 global facilities, including fill/finish, payloads, and peptides, we can provide integrated ADC services to customers looking for fast, simplified solutions,” ​says the company.

The £45m Grangemouth expansion is supported by a grant of £2.4m from Scottish Enterprise and is also client co-funded. 

The new facility is being built on a 5-acre brownfield plot less than 100 meters from the existing site. It is expected that this expansion will create approximately 40-50 new jobs, bringing the total number of employees at the site to more than 250 and building on a four-fold increase over recent years.

The official groundbreaking ceremony was held this week; with the sites expected to be operational by Q3, 2023.

Morpeth Site API Investment

The investment in API capabilities at the Morpeth site, which is valued at approximately £10m ($13.6m), includes new equipment, infrastructure, and utility systems.

As well as meeting increased market demand from global API customers, the investment will help improve the company's carbon footprint by replacing obsolete equipment with new, energy-efficient alternatives. The company pledges to enhance its sites in North America and India in the same way.

PPS is investing £8m directly, while the UK government is contributing £2m to the project.

More than 400 people are employed at Morpeth, with around 160 directly in API Operations.

Drug discovery

Last week the CDMO announced that it has also made a multi-million dollar investment in a screening facility that will augment the existing in-vitro biology capabilities at its drug discovery services site in Ahmedabad, India.

This new expansion, which is expected to go live in Q3 2022, will significantly add to the primary and secondary screening capabilities of compounds prepared at the Ahmedabad site.

The new high-throughput screening technology can evaluate and screen 1000 compounds per week using various assay platform technologies such as Fluorescent Imaging Plate Reader (FLIPR), TR-FRET/HTRF, Fluorescence Polarization (FP), absorbance, Luminescence/ Electrochemiluminescence (ECL), Alpha Screen, Lantha Screen, Flow Cytometry, and high content imaging.  These platforms will be applicable to a variety of targets (e.g., G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and kinase-targeted therapies). 

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