West to open CMO facility in India

Despite plans to move away from contract manufacturing and boost its proprietary products, West Pharmaceutical Services ($WST) is building an injectables plant in Sri City, India.

The Pennsylvania-based company broke ground this week on a 783,613-square-foot tract of land, planning to build a compression molding facility that makes metal and elastomeric pharmaceutical components used in injectables. West says it will start producing some commercial products there by 2014, with a full scale-up done by 2023.

In May, CEO Donald Morel said West's long-term plans included a renewed focus on developing its proprietary treatments and drug delivery techs, moving away from the contract manufacturing business. However, high demand and solid returns are hard to turn down, and the company's growing Asian business motivated the decision to build a new facility, he said.

"We are experiencing a very exciting period of growth and business expansion in Asia, and we are proud to begin construction of our first facility in India," Morel said in a statement. "The plant in India will help West meet market demand and establishes a West presence near our pharmaceutical customers in India."

Once the plant is up and running, West anticipates a significant reduction in lead times for its CMO customers in India and the Asia Pacific region, the company said, helping West compete in the area's growing market.

- read West's release


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