A Pharmacia & Upjohn facility in Uppsala

Pharmacia’s parenterals plant is located in Uppsala in Sweden and was originally ordered by a Swedish pharmaceuticals company called Pharmacia & Upjohn.

Since 2000, the company has merged with Monsanto.

The company also sold its Life Science operations to Amersham.

Parenteral drugs

Pharmacia’s plant was completed in 1999. The plant is designed to produce parenteral drugs, which are drugs that 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 and 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 and mixing equipment, component preparation stations and sterilisation units, as well as terminal sterilisation areas, packing lines and warehouses.

“The plant has a total area in excess of 15,000m². The formulation and filling sites are each in excess of 1,000m².”

Cleanroom partitions are fitted, which are designed to provide access to services, while the adjacent room/enclosure is maintained in the clean operational condition necessary to meet the stringent standards that the pharmaceutical industry requires.

The plant has numerous automated features designed to maximise efficiency in areas with high labour costs, including post-marketing surveillance (PMS) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, automated guided vehicles (AGV), auto lifts for just-in-time delivery of raw materials to the dispensary, automatic delivery of kegs, batch tracking, weighing, and filling and handling of dispensed containers, as well as automatic stacking of bottles, handling of shuttle cars for collection from filling machines, automated case handling on packaging lines, palletising, and delivery to the despatch warehouse.

The plant has a total area in excess of 15,000m². The formulation and filling sites are each in excess of 1,000m².

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 but Pharmacia retained the right to sell its stake after 2000.

Pharmacia is also investing in a $137m research and development (R&D) 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.