Biotechnology production facility, pharma. Clean production room with worker in protective suit. Generative AI image.

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A handful of pharma companies, including ST Pharm, Astellas Pharma, Avalon Pharma, and Celltrion have recently announced expansion projects.

Major pharma expansion efforts underway in South Korea

South Korean CDMO firm ST Pharm announced a second manufacturing facility in its home country — in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province. The plant is geared toward supporting burgeoning demand for oligonucleotide active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The 1.1 trillion won investment speaks to the company’s dedication to advancing the oligonucleotide API sector. The company has supplied nucleoside-API’s for global pharma customers since the 1980s.

Also in South Korea, Celltrion is setting aside 126 million South Korean won for a new manufacturing plant at its Songdo campus near Seoul. Expected to be operational by 2027, this facility will have an annual production capacity of 8 million vials. This strategic expansion follows the company’s recent three-way merger announcement, which will merge the company’s Celltrion Healthcare and Celltrion Pharm divisions. While this new facility highlights the company’s growth ambitions, it isn’t Celltrion’s first major investment in the Songdo campus. Back in 2020, Celltrion committed $453 million to its third production facility. In all, the company envisions a comprehensive $33.6 billion investment over the next decade, targeting biologics, AI-driven initiatives and e-commerce platforms for its pharmaceuticals.

Astellas expansion plans in Ireland

In Europe, Astellas Pharma has outlined a plan to build a €330 million facility in Tralee, Co Kerry in Ireland. Subject to planning approval, the plant could become operational by 2028, assuming the company gets the necessary approval. Astellas aims to commence construction in 2024.

Astellas expects 600 construction roles to be created during the building phase. Located at the IDA greenfield site in the Kerry Technology Park, the facility will focus on aseptic drug products and development and commercialization of innovative antibody drugs. Astellas plans for the facility to comply with international best practices in energy and environmental design.

In the U.S., the company made headlines earlier this year for waging war against the Inflation Reduction Act.

In the Middle East

Saudi Arabia’s Avalon Pharma, with its $26.7 million Avalon 4 plant in Riyadh, has announced plans to increase its capacity and diversify its portfolio. The company plans to increase its production of sophisticated medications used in oncology as well as  general injectables. The company is focused on fulfilling a niche demand in the Middle East.