Capsugel expanding Encap plant on rising HPAPI demand

The facility in Ediburgh, Scotland was acquired when Capsugel bought Encap in 2013

Capsugel is doubling the size of a facility in Scotland to support demand for the encapsulating of drugs containing high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs).

The Edinburgh, UK facility was taken over by Capsugel when the dosage form solutions firm bought Encap Drug Delivery in March 2013. The plant is one of the largest in the world to manufacture liquid and semi-solid filled capsules but is now set to double in size through the addition of 40,000 sq ft of production space.

Stephen Brown, Managing Director of Capsugel’s Encap Drug Delivery division, told this publication the expansion was due to rising customer demand for its encapsulating services “across the entire pharma spectrum,” and across global markets.

“We are seeing demand both at development scale – which is growing at around 40% per year – and for commercial products,” he said, adding that two products encapsulated at the site were approved last year with a further NDA submitted so far in 2015.

High potency demand

But one specific driver for the deal is the rise in high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs) among drugmakers, and the demand for services to support this. Encap has been offering such services since 2008, Brown said, but this expansion will double the facility's capacity for HPAPI encapsulation.

The expansion is likely to lead to new jobs at the site, though Brown did not divulge how many. However, he told us the workforce has increased by over 50% since the Capsugel acquisition, with the headcount presently standing at 110.

He also said the Encap business is now “completely integrated within Capsugel’s DFS (Dosage Form Solutions) unit and works very closely with its other facilities around the world.”

The news is the latest expansion for Capsugel, which last month completed a $25m spray-dried dispersion (SDD) plant at a site in Bend, Oregon, and in March announced it was investing the same amount to expand production of its vegetarian food and drug capsules across sites in South Carolina, Mexico, France and Japan.

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