A Medical Device Daily

Draxis Specialty Pharmaceuticals (Kirkland, Quebec), the contract manufacturing division of Draxis Health (Mississauga, Ontario), said it has expanded its existing contract manufacturing relationship with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies by entering into an agreement to provide commercial manufacturing services for a portfolio of non-sterile specialty semi-solid products currently marketed in the U.S.

The multi-year contract runs to the end of 2013. It includes about two years of manufacturing site transfer and process validation activities, followed by five years of commercial production, scheduled to begin in 2009.

Draxis said commercial production is expected to generate incremental revenues in excess of $120 million over the 2009 through 2013 period.

The transfer of equipment and production technologies, which is in progress, is expected to generate additional revenues during 2007 and 2008 of $6 million to $8 million. The contract also contemplates optional extensions beyond 2013.

The process of transferring the specified products to Draxis Pharma and validating manufacturing for each new product was initiated late last year and will continue through 2007 and 2008.

Improvements to the existing semi-solid manufacturing facilities were undertaken during the regular shutdown of operations for preventive maintenance in June and July, Draxis said. Some compounding rooms were enlarged and supplied with required services to accommodate new equipment and additional floor space was created through the construction of a new mezzanine within the existing Draxis facility.

Commercial production of the products is scheduled to start as soon as late 2008 and ramp up to achieve near full utilization of capacity for non-sterile semi-solid products by mid-2009.

Draxis said the contract will result in creating 80 to 100 additional positions at its operations in the Montreal area.

The company said that with the signing of the new agreement, a second facility in the Montreal area will be required in order to meet increased logistics and secondary packaging activities.

The new facility is expected to open during the summer of 2008 and will initially be staffed with about 150 employees. The facility will mark the first expansion by Draxis beyond its existing 247,000-square-foot facility in Kirkland.

China takes steps on safety of exports

China’s food safety director said that differing national standards and small, illegal exporters are the main causes of Chinese product recalls abroad, according to a Bloomberg report. Import and Export Food Safety Bureau Director General Wang Daning defended the overall quality of exports by the world’s largest consumer-goods maker.

Rich McKeown, chief of staff in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, led a delegation to Beijing last month, offering to help Chinese companies meet U.S. food-safety rules. The two countries said they aim to establish joint standards on food, livestock feed, drug and medical device safety by December.

The Bloomberg report said Chinese and U.S. officials were meeting in Beijing this past week to reconcile standards between the two nations, including those for drugs in seafood and pork. China will enact a recall system for food exports and has tightened surveillance at ports and borders to stop unlicensed exports, he said.

China faces growing international pressure to ensure the safety of its exports, after U.S. recalls of harmful toys, poisonous pet food and defective tires. China also banned some imports of U.S. pork and chicken, adding to a dispute that’s threatening the two countries’ $343 billion trade relationship, Bloomberg said.

Planet xMAP Europe set for Oct. 2-3

Luminex (Austin, Texas), which calls itself “the world leader in multiplexed solutions,” reported that Planet xMAP Europe 2007, the company’s annual European end-user technology symposium, will be held Oct. 2, 3 at the Berlage’s Exchange in Amsterdam.

The company said its xMAP multiplex solutions “include an open-architecture, multi-analyte platform that delivers fast, accurate and cost-effective bioassay results to markets as diverse as pharmaceutical drug discovery, clinical diagnostics and biomedical research, including the genomics and proteomics markets.”

The meeting will feature presentations regarding the xMAP technology in clinical diagnostics and life science research uses.

“We are thrilled to welcome xMAP technology end-users back to the Netherlands for our fifth annual Planet xMAP Europe meeting,” said Paul Ladestein, director of European operations for Luminex. “This event will allow scientists, researchers and clinicians to come together to share best practices and ideas not only about xMAP technology, but about the broader role that multiplexing technology is playing to improve research and enhance the quality of patient care.”

Luminex’s European subsidiary, Luminex BV, is located in Oosterhout, the Netherlands.

Indian research group buys Thomson resource

Thomson Scientific (Stamford, Connecticut), part of the Thomson Corp. and a provider of information solutions to the world’s research and business communities, said India’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has purchased the company’s ISI Web of Knowledge (WoK) platform to substantiate its knowledge domain.

Thomson describes WoK as “an integrated, versatile research platform that delivers easy access to high-quality, diversified scholarly information in the sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities, as well as search and analysis tools that enhance such content.

The platform provides users with the ability to search the right content and find relevant information — whether that information is found in international journals, open-access resources, books, patents, proceedings or web sites.

CSIR and its 10,000 scientists across 45 labs in India will now have ready access to Thomson Scientific’s WoK, allowing all users to cross-search complementary resources, enhancing CSIR’s drive for more precise and meaningful research that will further the overall development of science and technology in the country.

Thomson Scientific said India has emerged as its fastest-growing market in the Asia Pacific region. The company has operations in both Chennai and Hyderabad, with more than 500 employees in its Chennai operation, which opened in May.

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