Fermion is investing over EUR 11 million over the next two years in upgrades which will increase manufacturing capacity and security of supply for APIs.
Fermion, which is part of the Orion Group, is a Finnish manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that is most well-known for its highly potent APIs (HPAPIs), which require special expertise. Fermion also manufactures and develops APIs for other pharmaceutical companies in addition to Orion. Fermion has about 200 customers globally. Besides of its API business, Fermion markets all Orion’s contract manufacturing services. Drug product services cover manufacturing of cytotoxic and non-cytotoxic oral solids, hormonal and non-hormonal semi-solids and liquids, small volume parenterals and packaging services.
A two-year upgrade project will be launched at Fermion’s site in Hanko, the southern-most city in Finland, in the autumn of 2021, which will increase and enhance the manufacturing capacity of Hanko plant. The two-phase project will increase the capacity of the API’s manufacturing process by adding a new fully equipped HPAPI special synthesis module with 8m3 reactor capacity and a separate API packaging line with milling capabilities.
Manufacturing capacity for end products will increase by 30 per cent – more potential for new products
Scheduled to be completed at the end of 2023, the upgrade project, which will receive an investment of more than EUR 11 million, is estimated to increase the site’s manufacturing capacity for end products by approximately 30 per cent.
“As the manufacturing volumes grow, we will be able to increase our supply to our external customers. For example, we will be able to offer them more opportunities for new products,” says Martti Mikkola, Director of Fermion’s Hanko site..
Mikkola points out that the customers will also benefit from the fact that there will be a reduction in the need for intermittent cleaning of the multiproduct equipment. This will bring substantial cost savings.
The upgrade will also produce benefits for the security of supply, the employees and the environment
At Fermion’s Hanko site the increase in manufacturing capacity and the freeing up of the capacity of existing machinery will also increase flexibility in API manufacturing. This will be evident in the improved security of supply.
“We will be able to guarantee that our customers will receive the deliveries as ordered and at the right time,” Mikkola says.
Ari Koskela, Head of Technical Operations, who is in charge of the upgrade project, says that the new technology will enable the use of more closed-system manufacturing equipment.
The new equipment has a higher rate of automation and more measuring systems, which will make the processes even more efficient and modifiable for higher precision.
The environment will also benefit. The reduced need for intermittent cleaning means less solvent will be used. Thanks to the new technology and improved processes, emissions will also be lower.
New investment will support Orion’s growth
More than twenty partners across Finland and abroad will be involved in the upgrade project at Fermion’s Hanko site. The team at Hanko will be responsible for managing and overseeing the project.
“Our project team includes some twenty people from different personnel groups, from factory workers to senior executives. This a joint effort for the entire organisation. Between us, we have plenty of expertise and experience gained from similar previous projects,” Koskela says.
The new investment in Fermion is a major decision that will benefit the entire Orion Group.
“Orion’s target is to increase net sales to EUR 1.5 billion by 2025. These investments will help us to keep the Group on its chosen growth path,” Mikkola says.
“This investment also clearly shows Orion’s commitment to developing the operations of the Hanko API site and the desire to invest in serving our customers.”