The new facility is expected to increase SA’s pharmaceutical manufacturing and export capacity while employing up to 500 people.

Dr Rob Davies (left) cuts the ribbon at Aspen’s new R1 billion facility while CEO Stephen Saad (centre) and Capability Manager Branson Bosman (right) look on.

Aspen Pharmacare, South Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company, has officially opened a R1 billion high containment facility at its Port Elizabeth plant.

According to Aspen CEO Stephen Saad, the new facility will allow the manufacture of niche pharmaceutical products for rare conditions. Initial production is planned for:

  • Alkeran, Leukeran and Purinethol (treatment of late-stage cancers);
  • Imuran (prevention of organ tissue rejection in liver and kidney transplants as well as treatment of certain autoimmune diseases); and
  • Benztropine (treatment of Parkinson’s disease).

At full capacity, the 23,000m² facility is expected to produce approximately 3.6 billion tablets annually and package some 3 million bottles per month, of which 95% will be exported to markets in Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The high containment facility, together with the new sterile facility being built at the same site, is expected to create 500 new jobs.