Pharmacia Parenterals Plant, Sweden
Pharmacia latest parenterals plant is located in Uppsala in north/central Sweden and was originally ordered by a Swedish pharmaceuticals company called Pharmacia & Upjohn. It has now (since the early part of 2000) merged with Monsanto, changing its name to simply Pharmacia. The new company has also sold its Life Science operations to Amersham.
The new plant was completed in 1999. The plant is designed to produce parenteral drugs (that is, drugs which enter the body by a route other than the mouth, for instance, through an arm injection).
The plant was conceived as a highly automated state-of-the-art 'paperless' plant to be used as a centre of excellence for the production of intravenous products for export to markets around the world. The plant includes a raw-materials store, dispensing, mixing, component preparation and sterilisation, terminal sterilisation, packing, warehouse and despatch.
Clean room partitions are fitted. These are designed to facilitate dismantling on one face to allow access to the services running within, while the adjacent room/enclosure is maintained in the clean operational condition necessary to meet the very high standards that the pharmaceuticals industry requires.
The plant has numerous automated features designined to maximise efficiency in an area and industry with high labour costs. These include new PMS/MMS and SCADA systems, AGVs and auto lifts used for just-in-time delivery of allocated raw materials to the dispensary and packaging materials to the filling/packaging lines, automatic delivery of kegs, batch tracking, weighing, filling and handling of dispensed containers handling explosive dusts and asphyxiating chemicals, automatic stacking of bottles, handling of shuttle cars for collection from filling machines to deliver to a range of packaging lines, automated case handling on the packaging lines, palletising and delivery to the despatch warehouse. The new plant has a total area in excess of 15,000 square metres. The formulation and filling sites are each in excess of 1,000 square metres.
In April 1999, Pharmacia Amersham Biotech decided to relocate its synthetic polymers research unit from its previous home in Norway. Under the merger agreement worked out between the two companies, this unit was jointly owned although Pharmcia retained the right to sell its stake after 2000.
Pharmacia is also investing in a $137 million research and development centre in Stockholm. This was announced in the first half of 1998. Construction began in the second half of 1998, and is due to be completed in 2001. The centre will house 350 researchers and aims to help the company to discover between ten and twelve new candidate drugs per year. Putting new products in the pipeline of drugs is what maintains the profitability of pharmaceuticals companies. The new centre is therefore crucial for the future health of the company. The centre will concentrate on research into metabolic diseases.