Lonza teams with South Africa on antiretroviral API plant

An alliance with the South African government has been established by Swiss drug manufacturer Lonza on a new, $210 million plant to produce antiretroviral APIs. The venture, dubbed Ketlaphela, is anticipated to be able to reduce drugmakers’ imports of ingredients for HIV-fighting drugs, beginning in 2016. The plant will create employment for 2,600 people, with key personnels receiving training at Lonza’s Swiss headquarters beforehand.

The current lack of APIs for antiretroviral treatments calls for import of them by South Africa’s drugmakers. This scenario is expected to change as Ketlaphela begin tapping the market for APIs in South Africa and the broader African market or even beyond those borders after that, officials said. According to Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor, the venture will also open doors into ingredients for tuberculosis treatments, malaria drugs, and other products key to treating disease prevalent on the African continent, quoted by him in Business Times.

The breakdown of ownership for the plant is as follows:

Lonza will put up 500 million rand, or about $64 million, for 30% stake of the project.

State-funded institutions such as the Industrial Development Corp. will provide 1 billion rand, or about $130 million. Pelchem, a subsidiary of the state-owned South African Nuclear Energy Corp., will provide infrastructure and land worth 100 million rand. 50% of stakes will go to these companies and the government.

The rest will be open to investors.

APIs is one of the issues which will be talked about during the 5th annual BioPharma Asia Convention. Mr Kalyana Krishnan, Head, Global Supply Chain for Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd will be speaking on “Exploring cost effective logistic strategies in emerging markets” based on his experience in Demand and Supply Planning of Formulations and APIs and Logistics. He will speak during the Pharma & Biotech Supply Chain World Asia 2012.

Interested to find out more? Register online today to reserve your seat or contact Huisan Soh at +65 6322 2770 or huisan.soh@terrapinn.com

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