Eisai Knowledge Centre is located in the Special Economic Zone at the Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. It carries out research and manufacturing of new active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and formulations. Eisai’s subsidiary, Eisai Pharmatechnology and Manufacturing, operates the plant.
Ground breaking for the $50m facility took place in December 2007. The facility was officially inaugurated in December 2009. It has an annual production capacity of one billion tablets and 30t of formulations.
Eisai has been present in India since 2004. By setting up the Eisai Knowledge Centre, the company strengthened its position and integrated its development, production and sales functions in India.
In January 2012, the plant won the Facility of the Year Award (FOYA) for Project Execution.
Knowledge centre project specifications
Eisai built the facility with the aim of creating a future global hub for manufacturing quality products and improving its API synthesis processes.
The facility integrates manufacturing of APIs and formulations, as well as the research and manufacture of new global products, into one site.
The plant is part of Eisai’s Dramatic Leap Plan aimed at providing global flexibility for its manufacturing operations. It is also part of Eisai’s corporate mission, human health care, aimed at discovering new compounds and supplying high quality products.
India was chosen for setting up the plant due to the availability of inexpensive and quality pharmaceutical products. The availability of skilled talent and lower manufacturing costs were a few other reasons for choosing India. Eisai has identified India as the main focus of its global operations due to these strategic advantages.
The Japanese market is slowly shifting towards generics although penetration is still low. Cost effectiveness is a key component to manufacturing and marketing of generics. The facility helps Eisai in achieving affordable pricing for its products and prepares it for the future growth of generic products in Japan.
The Visakhapatnam facility is Eisai’s second API manufacturing site with the first one being located in Kashima, Japan. The Kashima plant supplies APIs to global markets. The Eisai Knowledge Centre is also the fourth knowledge-based centres of Eisai, the others being located in Japan, the UK and the US.
Expansion plans and facility details
In July 2010, Eisai announced an expansion of the facility to increase manufacturing and research capabilities. Expansion of the facility will increase annual production capacity to 60t of formulations and two billion tablets by 2013. Eisai is investing $20m in the expansion project.
Eisai acquired 50 acres of land for constructing the facility. Currently, the facility is spread over 33 acres and the remaining 17 acres is available for expansion. The built-up area of the plant is 35,000m².
The facility comprises 14 individual buildings including an API lab, an API building, a drug substance facility, a drug product facility and a QA / QC research lab.
A hazardous material storage facility, cafeteria, administration office, energy centre, a pilot plant, a tank farm and parking facilities are also part of the plant.
Construction was completed in just 17 months. At peak construction nearly 2,000 workers were employed at the site.
JMC Projects carried out civil, structural and infrastructural works for the facility.
Drugs produced at Eisai’s strategic Indian complex
Eisai’s primary areas of focus include neurology, gastroenterology, oncology and immunology. It plans to develop products in these four areas to deliver significant benefits to the society.
The facility is currently producing two drugs, Aricept and Myonal. In future, Eisai plans to move production of four more products including Epry, Methylcobal and Zonigran to the facility.
Nearly 95% of the production from the facility is exported to markets in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.