The expansion will see the company’s production of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and contraceptive pills increase by two billion tablets per year.
Driven by increased customer demand, this reflects the slow recovery of the HRT market following the discrediting of a study that overstated the therapy’s risks while downplaying its benefits.
Piramal’s new production suite, including formulation, tableting, coating and packaging equipment, is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 and in full operation six months later.
MHRA rules require a dedicated manufacturing facility for hormonal products, and Piramal aims to be one of the largest contract manufacturers in this segment.
Piramal Enterprises’ Executive Director and COO, Vijay Shah, said: “The production of hormonal products is a highly specialised niche area. The Morpeth facility is our Centre of Excellence for these products, and this expansion will greatly enhance our offer and potential for growth in this space.
“The hormonal sector currently represents a USD 11 billion market globally and is growing at a pace of 4% to 5% annually. With major competition limited to a small number of CMOs in Europe, Piramal sees major opportunities for growth in this area given our vast experience in this field, which spans more than 40 years.”
The Morpeth facility in Northumberland, which also has facilities for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) production, solid formulation, and clinical trial research, was acquired by Piramal from Pfizer in 2006.
Piramal | Healthcare is a part of Piramal Enterprises, one of India’s leading business groups, with interests in real estate, glass manufacturing and financial services as well as healthcare.