Japanese CDMO to invest $100m in capacity and portfolio

Bushu Pharmaceutical's new facility is an important component in the company's "Asia hub" strategy

Bushu Pharmaceuticals, one of Japan's largest contract manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, has announced a major capital programme costing $100 million to expand its footprint, capacity and portfolio of services.

The programme extends over the next five years in order to accommodate client needs.

Bushu is nearing completion of its 3,900 sqm (42,000 sqft) cold chain warehouse facility at its Misato plant north of Tokyo. The new facility will be commissioned and validated by September of this year for storage of temperature-controlled sterile drugs and biologics for the Japanese market.

The new facility is an important component in the company's "Asia hub" strategy which enables international pharmaceutical companies to import bulk products into Japan for quality inspection, labelling, packaging and distribution throughout Japan and other Asian countries.

The inspection capacity will be expanded to 12 stations for pre-filled syringes, and seven stations each for liquid vials and for lyophilized vials. Of the 26 inspection stations, 23 will be supported by cameras. This will establish Bushu as the leading provider of sterile drug inspection in Japan's outsourced market. The Japanese market requires 100% visual inspection of pharmaceutical products intended for sale in Japan, which is particularly time-consuming and complex for sterile and biologic products.

In addition to the new warehouse and inspection capacity, Bushu has also funded the addition of eight new packaging lines, including one pre-filled packaging line and a new water-for-injection line to support its sterile manufacturing filling suite. Bushu is also upgrading its production automation systems and its laboratory information management system (LIMS) as part of a long-term IT master plan.

Bushu is now working with several multi-national pharmaceutical clients, which has also allowed the company to establish an international technical transfer team. This expanded team will facilitate the transfer of analytical methods and enable validation of foreign-made drugs into Bushu's two manufacturing facilities.

"We are excited about our capital expansion plans," said Tadao Takano, Bushu's Chief Operating Officer. "Our Asia hub strategy is coming to life. The added space and additional inspection lines will allow us to bring more of our client's bulk products into the country, which will make their logistics and supply chain systems much more efficient."