Piramal Healthcare UK Ltd., has invested £2.0 million into Scotland to expand its manufacturing base at Grangemouth. The Scottish facility, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, is dedicated to the contract development and manufacturing of Antibody Drug Conjugates, which requires the ability to handle both biologics and highly potent small molecule toxins.

Piramal’s objective is to transfer the site in a global development and manufacturing hub where the company plans to manufactures Antibody Drug Conjugates or ADCs for its worldwide clients. With a two approved drugs in this class (brentuximab vedotin; Adcetris, Seattle Genetics and ado-trastuzumab emtansine/T-DM1; Kadcyla, Genentech/Roche) and more that 50 similar agents in clinical development, ADCs are a rapidly growing area in oncology and hematological malignancies with great potential. Earlier this year, during CPhI Worldwide in Madrid, Spain, Piramal stated that it has set a target of becoming the global leader in the contract commercialization of antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs over the next five years.[1]

Scotland Piramal November 2015
Photo 1.0 Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, first visited the site in 2012 and went back to see the progress on site and check out the new facility. Courtesy: Used with permission under the terms of the Open Government License/Scottish Government

This new investment into Scotland is expected to yield an additional revenue of £3-5 mn over 5 years to Piramal Healthcare’s revenues. The announcement was made by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at Piramal’s new facility, where up to 20 new high-skill job roles will be created, backed by £200,000 Regional Selective Assistance funding, a discretionary grant for businesses who want to develop a project within an assisted area in Scotland.

ADC Bio
Lonza
MabPlex
 

The availability of a strong educational system plays a major role in the ability to attract businesses like Piramal.  “Scotland has a thriving life sciences community and a close-knit business and academic ecosystem which presents tremendous supply chain opportunities to the pharma industry,” noted Country Director, Scottish Development International, India, Ms. Rooma Kumar Bussi.

Ambitious
But a thriving Life Sciences community and a close-knit business and academic ecosystem is not the only benefit the country offers. Last month’s launch of the Scottish industry-led Life and Chemical Sciences Manufacturing Strategy, positioned the country as a globally competitive base for sustainable high-value manufacturing.  And the Scottish Life Science sector is ambitious, seeking to double its turnover to £6.3bn by 2020, while the chemical sciences sector is aiming to increase exports by 50% from £3bn to £4.5 bn by 2020.

Photo 2.0 Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Courtesy: Used with permission under the terms of the Open Government License/Scottish Government

The sector believes that expanding and sustaining the Scottish manufacturing base is considered one of the keys to achieving that growth. And that is what Piramal Healthcare is doing. The company’s facility is a key element to the antibody drug conjugate manufacturing hub and the expansion confirms Scotland’s attractiveness as a life sciences manufacturing location as well as the country’s globally competitive Pharma services sector with over 160 companies, rigorous quality controlled environment, supportive clinical trial environment and high quality innovative manufacture.

“Piramal is the type of the company we are looking to lead Scotland’s economic growth. They are manufacturing innovative products for international use, and are investing in their workforce and infrastructure – a perfect example of our economic strategy in action. [This] is a great example of an innovative company that is benefitting from the focus Scotland places on the life sciences sector, which employs around 33,000 people across the country,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.

“We have a thriving research and innovation led Life Sciences sector and Piramal is seeing the benefit of that as they manufacture products that are involved in the treatment of various types of cancer. I am delighted to be opening this new manufacturing suite and welcome Piramal’s continued commitment to Scotland,” Sturgeon further added. “At heart of our economic strategy is ensuring that we tackle inequality for the benefit of all of Scotland because a fairer society is a more productive and prosperous society. Our strategy focuses on investment, innovation and internationalisation, and these pillars will lead us to inclusive growth,” she concluded.

Global leader
“Piramal Healthcare UK Ltd has been growing its operations in Grangemouth since 2005 and currently employs around 140 people in predominantly highly skilled positions. We aim to scale up this facility in the next 5 years to maintain its position as a global leader in the production of Antibody Drug Conjugates,” Piramal Healthcare Site Lead, Mark Wright, Ph.D, noted.