Manufacturing News

World class manufacturing facility opens in Sydney

VETERINARY pharmaceuticals manufacturer, Parnell, officially opened its new multi-million manufacturing plant in Alexandria in south Sydney yesterday, with Trade Minister, Simon Crean, doing the official opening.

The 3000m2 high tech plant is one of only a handful in the world that is licensed to manufacture highly potent sterile injectables for sale in the lucrative US and EU markets.

Parnell has recently achieved significant international success lifting turnover to $17m this year through the successful launch of Estroplan, a reproductive hormone for cattle in the US.

CEO Robert Joseph is very proud of his $15m investment with expectations to lift turnover to $80m within the next five years.

“We have expanded rapidly in the past couple of years, and expect that to continue now that we have our own manufacturing facility that meets the US’s stringent FDA (Food & Drug Administration) quality standards,” Joseph told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

He explained that less than half the total investment, $6.5m, was spent on the high tech manufacturing facility, the rest was on compliance costs associated with the FDA.

Company CFO, Phil Barnes, estimates some $3m was spent on producing the high quality steam, air and water needed alone.

“We must use A-grade air here, which often means the air we expel is cleaner than what comes in.

“Same with the water, we process the water to distilled quality, which is kept flowing at 85degC through stainless steel pipes that must be robotically welded. It’s a very expensive operation to set up,” Barnes said.

Because it was not practical to build a smaller operation, Joseph said the company is presently looking at contract manufacturing possibilities both locally and overseas.

“We can produce around $150m of product a year here, but we only use 30% of that capacity at present,” Joseph said.

Because the company can offer a full suite of facilities needed to meet FDA, Joseph says Parnell is probably the only fully integrated pharmaceutical company in Australia to offer this service. He also spoke of offering a comprehensive back-up service for multi-national pharmaceutical companies who cannot afford to lose downtime at their own plants.

Since inception nearly 50 years ago, Parnell has developed and launched over 60 products for companion, production and performance animals, across key therapeutic areas including reproductive hormones, osteoarthritis, anaesthesia and anti-infectives and now employs 50 people, with a presence in over 20 countries.

Joseph said the company is presently in negotiations to sign a major global co-marketing partner for its Zyadax, a unique product that treats osteoarthritis in dogs and horses.

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