17 June 2013

Eisai to expand packaging facility in the UK

17 June 2013 – Tokyo headquartered Eisai Co., Ltd. has decided to further invest at its Hatfield, Hertfordshire production plant in the United Kingdom in creation of an additional packaging facility ahead of plans to launch multiple new Eisai products. The Hatfield plant is operated by the company's U.K. manufacturing subsidiary, Eisai Manufacturing Ltd.

The Hatfield plant serves as a global supply center for new products such as antiepileptic agent Fycompa® while also functioning as a production and packaging base for countries in Europe, where there is a demand for a high mix of low-volume product presentations in multiple languages. The New Facility will cover a total floor space of approximately 2,900 m² and will be located adjacent to the currently operating facility (total floor space: about 7,800 m²). Eisai plans to handle the packaging of its investigational anticancer agent lenvatinib (generic name) at the New Facility and a packaging area for handling highly potent compounds (total floor space: approximately 400 m²) will be included at the site accordingly to comply with guidelines set out by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Construction is scheduled to begin in September 2013 and to be completed in mid-2014, with launch of operations planned for September 2014. Eisai's investment in the facility expansion will total approximately 8 million British pounds, with the company forecasting a potential employee increase of up to 40 new permanent personnel over the next five to seven years.

Responding to today's expansion announcement, the Rt. Hon. David Willetts, U.K. Minister of State for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, welcomed the development: “Eisai's decision to invest is great news for the U.K. and reflects the Government's commitment to creating the best environment for life sciences. It will build on the Hatfield site's manufacturing capability, which I saw when I visited last year, and supports highly skilled jobs.”

Speaking on the decision, Eisai's President Haruo Naito comments: “This new investment is a vote of confidence in our EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] Hatfield facility. The U.K. remains competitive as a location for advanced manufacturing and I am delighted that we are now able to expand our global center for packaging at Hatfield, home to our EMEA sales and marketing, R&D and manufacturing operations.”

Eisai established the European Knowledge Centre (EKC), which integrates the company's discovery research, clinical development, production, marketing, and European headquarters functions into one site, in Hatfield, Hertfordshire in 2009 with the aim of expanding its business operations in Europe. At present, EKC plays an even more important role as the regional headquarters for Eisai's EMEA business. Through this investment, the company aims to strengthen its production functions, specifically in regard to its packaging capacity at the Hatfield plant. In doing so, Eisai expects to continue to enhance its presence in the EMEA region and thereby make further contributions to patients on a global scale.

Source: Eisai