Piramal Healthcare on Tuesday said it will invest $11 million (over Rs 70 crore) at its Morpeth facility in UK to triple the production capacity for hormonal products including contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapies.

“The expansion, which has been commissioned in response to customer demand and new business gains, will see the Morpeth (UK) site’s production capacity increase by around 2 billion tablets per annum,” Piramal Healthcare said in a statement.

Work on the new suite, which will house formulation, packaging coating and tableting equipment, will commence at the end of 2013, with mechanical completion anticipated within 12 months and full operations expected to begin following a 6 month validation period, it added.

Commenting on the development, Piramal Enterprises’ Executive Director and COO Vijay Shah said: “The production of hormonal products is a highly specialised, niche area. The Morpeth facility is our centre of excellence for these products and this expansion will greatly enhance potential for growth in this space.”

This latest investment follows Piramal Healthcare’s earlier announcement about it’s plans to invest $2.5 million at its FDA approved Grangemouth (UK) facility to upgrade one of its antibody drug conjugate (ADC) manufacturing suites from clinical phase to commercial grade, Piramal Healthcare said.

With this expansion, the company aims to be one of the largest contract manufacturers in this niche segment which as per the USFDA and MHRA regulations requires a dedicated manufacturing facility for the handling of high potent molecules, it added.

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