By James T. Hammond
Published Nov. 28, 2012
The walls are rising at the Nephron Pharmaceuticals manufacturing plant and research center being built in Lexington County, and CEO Lou Kennedy said this week that manufacturing plans for the plant already have been expanded.
“We think we will become the largest producer of blow-fill-seal products when this plant begins production,” Kennedy said. Blow-fill-seal technology refers to a manufacturing process for liquid-filled containers of medications that limits human contact with sterile products.
Nephron, a privately owned manufacturer of generic inhalation solutions, is investing $313 million in its new facility that’s located on a 60-acre parcel in the Saxe Gotha Industrial Park.
Completion of the buildings is being timed to be ready for the arrival of the first equipment for the plant in April, Kennedy said. The first wave of hiring for the plant is expected to start in March. About 300 employees will be needed to open the plant, she said.
The firm, which expects to eventually employ about 700 people locally, plans to expand its product line to include respiratory, ophthalmic and injectable medications.
The expanded manufacturing plans are driven by Nephron’s development of new products and positive expectations for those products in the marketplace.
In August, Nephron began marketing an alternative medication for asthma sufferers that has vast market potential worldwide, the Kennedys said.
The new product, called Asthmanefrin, is an alternative to Armstrong Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s popular Primatene Mist inhaler, which has been withdrawn from the market because it contained chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.
The potential market for the asthma relief product is huge. Walmart alone was selling an average 65,000 units of Primatene Mist a week before it was withdrawn from the market, Lou Kennedy said.
Aerial photos of the plant site in Lexington County can be viewed at this website.