Ons 29 maj / År 42 / Nr 1 2024

It is Kemwell’s time to shine as the company expands through Technology Transfers

Sweden has a long tradition of outstanding competence in the life science industry. This is in fact a legacy that companies like Kemwell are using as a foundation when building new competence and developing lucrative business activities. The Indian – Swedish contract developer and manufacturer Kemwell has approximately 180 employees in Sweden. These are well-motivated and committed experts striving to exceed their own and their customer’s expectations each and every day. Their energy and commitment is eminent, shining as brightly as Polaris, the North Star.

On a global scale, Kemwell manufactures world leading pharmaceutical drugs on behalf of some of the world’s ten largest pharmaceutical companies. With five plants in India and two in Sweden, Kemwell is the global leading contract manufacturer of Pfizer’s Salazopyrin®, sold in over 80 countries worldwide. The manufacturing portfolio includes several prime pharmaceutical products, Salazopyrin® still representing one of the largest in terms of production volume. The last couple of years have been most exciting for Kemwell, with new projects on the go and a lot of resources dedicated to strengthening the productions sites in Sweden.

Top-class facility
Indian Kemwell Biopharma Pvc Ltd. initiated a historical turning point in 2006 by acquiring Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in Uppsala. Instead of moving all know-how and resources to a low-cost manufacturing unit abroad, Kemwell kept the Swedish plant up and running as well as dedicating further investments to the new factory. In 2010, Kemwell allocated one of the two Uppsala-plants to the expansive Uppsala Business Park, an important player in the Stockholm – Uppsala region life science cluster.
The last two years have been very exciting at Swedish Kemwell. The company has invested a lot and there is yet more to come. The largest investment includes upgrading the new plant in Uppsala Business Park with e.g new lines for suppository and tablet manufacturing as well as a brand new packaging line.
“The facility is very modern for manufacturing pharmaceutical drugs whether it be in the form of suppositories, tablets or as capsules. The plant is highly automated with an impressive capacity. At the same time, we have launched several new Technology Transfer projects resulting in three new pharmaceutical drugs on the market”, says Inger Harrå, Director of Production.

Five new partners
There are five customers in the Technology Transfer projects where one can be named, Mercury Pharma Group.
“The long-term strategy of most large pharmaceutical companies seems to be outsourcing of drug manufacturing to low-cost nations. We have a long history of successful, high-quality manufacturing here in Sweden, now also being able to provide support at the early stage of research and development through our Technology Transfer projects. Interestingly, when Mercury chose us as their partner, we did not yet have all the modern equipment in place that we have invested in during the last couple of years. This proves that they really believed in our capability and strong will to succeed. They chose us on our previous success rate and our ability to deliver on time”, explains Ulrika Westin, Tech Transfer Project Manager.

Reliable employees through thick and thin
Kerstin Nordström has been the Tech Transfer Project Manager for all projects on suppositories so far. Here she explains: “Our projects generally require very dedicated staff that we can rely on through thick and thin. We also had a need for well-motivated service technicians who helped us during the startup of the new equipment. It has been a great challenge, but now as everything starts to fall into place we are equipped with a state of the art multipurpose facility with tremendous capacity”.
“We are now at a stage where we can identify and benefit from great synergies between the different projects. For each project, we have a system for obtaining knowledge from Lessons Learnt. Important lessons are to be communicated throughout our entire organisation to benefit everyone working with similar developments in Kemwell”, says Karin Münger, Tech Transfer Project Manager for the first substance in tablet form.

Ten different Technology Transfers
The expertise to provide services such as Quality Assurance (QA) including advanced analysis of product safety has been embedded in Kemwell for a long time, now being applied at full measures to create value-added services to customers. Kemwell’s experienced QA staff can thus provide quality assurance support and auditing for both internal and contracted studies.
“As an expanding contract developer and manufacturer we are of course aiming for further collaboration and more assignments. Our mission is not to develop our own market brands, but to promote the brands of our clients by providing top-quality manufacturing-, development- and analytical services. We are currently working with new clients regarding different Technology Transfers, three of which have already been successfully launched on the market”, CEO Agneta Bergvall concludes.