15 November 1999 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Reflecting the impressive strength of the pharmaceutical industry, CPhI Worldwide continues to attract ever larger numbers of exhibitors and visitors. The show's 10th anniversary in Frankfurt, Germany, was no exception. The event brought 950 international exhibitors together, representing a solid 12.3 percent growth rate over 1998. Although most exhibitors hailed from Europe, a solid 27 percent came from Asia, and about 12 percent were North American.
Laurent Michoud, business development manager with International Specialty Product's newly acquired ISP Alginates, and a first-time CPhI visitor, praises the show's multinationality and high level of professionalism.
"The show was very successful for us," notes Rudi E. Moerck, senior vice-president for chemical marketing and sales with Catalytica Pharmaceuticals. "We obtained several new leads and projects for our development group for evaluation and possible scale-up. Most of the new projects were for advanced intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients that could benefit from proprietary Catalytica technology."
Similarly, Karl-Ernst Schuster, general manager of Bayer AG's life science intermediates business unit, says that a "show such as this allows us to touch base with our customers and take care of a wide range of potential issues."
For most exhibitors, the customer is the pharmaceutical industry. Continued strength and a growing tendency to outsource the production of active ingredients are driving the market, especially in North America, where Mr. Moerck notes that heavy demand for pharmaceutical outsourcing has resulted in very limited production capacity.
Most exhibitors emphasized broader and more extensive customer services, including a willingness to extend their regional reach. Custom players can no longer afford to have production sites only in one part of the world, Mr. Schuster says. They must meet the requirements of their international customers.
"There is a growing need to support customers--not only with production know-how, but also in the areas of process development and pilot production," he adds.
Claes Glassell, president of Cambrex pharmaceutical group, agrees. His company's palette of offerings includes contract research and process development. "Our customers want us to get involved earlier," he notes.
Cambrex is implementing a company-wide $25 million capital investment program. Part of the investment includes the addition of pilot capacity at Salsbury Chemicals and the construction of kilo and R&D labs at the Cambrex center for excellence, scheduled to start up before the end of 2000.
Gerald F. Dziedzic, senior business director, pharmaceutical, with ISP, also used the CPhI gathering as an opportunity to deepen existing customer relationships and develop new ones while keeping up to date on emerging tableting trends. The company displayed an extensive range of excipients.
Reflecting the tight market for merchant cGMP capacity, many custom manufacturers are contemplating new capacity. As part of its global growth strategy, Bayer places a high priority on US-based capacity. A potential move could include the purchase of existing manufacturing sites or the development of grassroots capacity. Feasibility studies are in progress, and a decision could be made as early as 2000. Bayer has already earmarked about $150 million to $200 million for the investment.
The pharma industry's health continues to lure newcomers into the ring. Great Lakes sees a "lot of opportunities," according to company CEO Mark Bulriss.
The company has US-based cGMP pilot capacity and is looking to strengthen its position in the market. A decision on whether to buy or build production capability is expected within the next six to eight months. Great Lakes NSC Technologies, acquired from Monsanto, has chiral and unnatural amino acids expertise, but it operates from a leased production site.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.