Novo Nordisk held a groundbreaking ceremony in Clayton, NC in late March to begin construction of a $1.8-billion expansion, roughly tripling the size of its manufacturing facilities there. The existing 457,000-sq. ft. building will be complemented with 833,000 sq. ft. of new capacity, all directed at both injectable insulin products and Novo Nordisk’s Phase IIIa oral semaglutide, a GLP-1 analogue formulated as a once-daily tablet for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The company’s FlexPen and FlexTouch preffiled insulin syringes are already assembled and packaged there. The new plant expected to come online in 2020 and “will play a vital role in enabling us to meet the needs of people living with diabetes in the US for years to come,” said Lars Rebien Sørensen, Novo Nordisk CEO.
Meanwhile, Vetter Pharma, the Ravensburg, Germany contract development and manufacturing organization, has announced a €70 million, 8,000-sq. m. ($97-million, 86,000 sq. ft) expansion of its facilities in Ravensburg, to be operational in 2019. The company plans to devote much of the new capacity to bulk syringe filling for biopharma clients. A clean room with an advanced restricted access barrier system (RABS), combined with a rapid, automated decontamination cycle that cleans the space in three hours. Substaintial customization of the syringe design and filling processes are also an emphasis Vetter’s service.
Vetter introduced a new prefilled-syringe system, Vetter-Ject, in the middle of 2015 featuring a baked-in siliconization process for the glass barrel, which the company says reduces the silicon oil presence (necessary for smooth operation of a syringe’s plunger) and thus making the product suitable for biologics that are sensitive to the presence of silicon oil. The device also features an integrated needle, needle shield and tamper-evident closure. Earlier this year, it won the WorldStar Award 2016, an international competition sponsored by the World Packaging Organization (Oak Brook, IL), an association of national trade and professional packaging groups.