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PHARMACEUTICALS
A Site Selection Web Exclusive, June 2010
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Sanofi and Solvay Make Moves in Italy

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Sanofi-Aventis has expanded capacity at its production facility in Brindisi.

By John W. McCurry
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anofi-Aventis continues to expand its plant in Brindisi in southern Italy. A recent investment of US$32 million boosts the plant's capacity to produce the antibiotic Spiramycin. The company is the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in Italy with plants also in Origgio, Garessio, Anagni and Scoppito. Sanofi-Aventis employs about 3,200 in Italy, 1,400 of whom work at the five plants.

"Each of the five Sanofi-Aventis plants located in Italy stands out for specific field of activity, helping make Italy a point of reference within the Group's industrial reality," said Philippe Luscan, the company's deputy senior chairman for industrial affairs. "In Sanofi-Aventis' international strategies, the Brindisi plant represents a significant pole on an international level in the production of antibiotics, and the start-up of the production of Spiramycin is yet another sign of our company's commitment to offering efficient responses to unsatisfied health needs worldwide."

For the 2010-2013 period, Sanofi-Aventis plans to invest approximately $394 million to develop its industrial presence and its research activities in Italy, adding to more than $246 million allocated in 2006-2009.

 "The start-up of production of the antibiotic Spiramycin and the consequent investment of €26 million [US$32 million] is a key step in the growth of the production plant, which further strengthens the role played by Brindisi in the Sanofi-Aventis world production chessboard," said Daniel Lapeyre, managing director for Sanofi-Aventis Italy.

Here's a look at the company's other production plants in Italy.

-The Origgio production plant, which employs 246, produces Enterogermina and Maalox, which are currently exported to 33 and 55 countries, respectively. In the future, the number of countries where Enterogermina will be registered will reach 85, with 250 million vials to be produced yearly.

-The Garessio production site, which employs 167, is involved in the company's Medicines Access Programme for tropical diseases. In the future, the production of synthetic artemisin, a fundamental component for antimalarial treatment, will be moved to Garessio.

-The Anagni production plant, which employs 484, in recent years has been charged with the production of some drugs previously manufactured abroad, with an investment of over €70 million (US$86 million). Two-thirds of the plant's production is intended for international markets, including the United States.

The Scoppito production plant employs 346 and in 2010 will see the opening of a $2.7-million galenical (medicine comprised mainly of herbal or vegetable matter) technology center devoted to the development of new pharmaceutical products.

In 2008 Sanofi-Aventis opened a new $33-million research center in Milan that employs 70. In 2009 it obtained five patents and 430 original molecules were synthesized there.

Solvay, an international chemical and pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Brussels, has begun the sodium bicarbonate production capacity extension at its Rosignano site, Italy. With this expansion, Rosignano will become the world's biggest sodium bicarbonate production plant with a yearly capacity of 250,000 tons. Solvay manufactures sodium bicarbonate in Europe, in Egypt and in the U.S. With the capacity expansion in Rosignano, Solvay's total annual production capacity for sodium bicarbonate has reached now 870,000 tons.

"This new capacity will allow satisfying the increased demand for sodium bicarbonate of our customers," said Giordano Zappelli, marketing manager of the Sodium Related Products activity of Solvay's Sodium Carbonate Strategic Business Unit.


Story in Pictures

Solvay has expanded its facility in Rosignano.
Click for a larger view.
Click for a larger view.

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The Site Selection Life Sciences Report features exclusive and in-depth reporting and analysis on the most important life science projects and issues. Topics covered include pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing, biotechnology, medical device manufacturing, health-care services facility trends, clinical research and other key life science sectors.


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