The new facility is located at Biosciences Center Boxmeer, one of the world's largest veterinary R&D and manufacturing facilities and a cornerstone of the company's global vaccine R&D and production network.
Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, one of the world's largest animal health companies, is investing US$22 million in the new building, which has increased the floor space of the bacterial vaccine production unit by more than three-fold from approximately 1500 to over 5,500 square metres. It will have four hi-tech production lines for bacterial vaccines with a media preparation capacity in fermentors ranging from 200 to 1,500 litres. The availability of state-of-the-art fermentors and clean rooms, in combination with efficient, integrated up-/downstream processing operations and automation makes the new unit a landmark in veterinary bacterial vaccine manufacturing.
The official opening of the new manufacturing facility will be performed by Chris Buijink, secretary-general of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, and will be celebrated with a dedicated scientific symposium entitled 'Research and Technology in Bacterial Vaccine Development: Opportunities for a One Health Approach'. The symposium has been organised in collaboration with Immuno Valley, and several experts from Dutch universities and research institutions will present on new developments in bacterial vaccine R&D and manufacturing with the 'One Health' approach as an overarching theme.
Building activities started in December 2007. The facility is fully compliant with current and anticipated regulatory requirements on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for veterinary medicines, with special sectors for bio-contained zones. In addition, the new facility allows production capacity to be expanded in order to meet the increasing demand for veterinary vaccines.
Malte Greune, Senior Vice-President Animal Health Manufacturing: "The new bacteriological processing unit here in Boxmeer illustrates the ongoing investments in innovation that this company is making. We believe that this facility and its equipment, as well as the people that work here, all contribute to the success of our business. Moreover, it is yet another example of our integrated technology strategy, where we combine our expertise along the production process from making small amounts of vaccine in a laboratory, via upscaling in our pilot production plant, and finally to commercial large-scale batch manufacturing."
Helmut Finkler, Senior Director AH Operations Netherlands added: "The current expansion demonstrates the long-term commitment of the company towards Biosciences Center Boxmeer, with its tradition and expertise of more than 60 years of development, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of veterinary vaccines."
To address the specific regional needs for veterinary medicines, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health operates 28 manufacturing sites in 14 countries distributed over five continents. Of these, Biosciences Center Boxmeer is a global lead site, which produces vaccines and pharmaceutical products against bacterial, parasitological and viral infections next to other diseases in cattle, sheep, swine, poultry, fish and companion animals. The company manufactures in total approximately 450 licensed vaccines, of which more than 100 are manufactured in Boxmeer. The company continuously invests in its manufacturing operations to ensure that it meets GMP and other standards as well as the most stringent environmental requirements.