TAMPA, Fla., -- International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), a global non-profit association of 25,000 pharmaceutical science and manufacturing professionals, along with INTERPHEX and Pharmaceutical Processing magazine, today announced during the Keynote Session at ISPE’s 2008 Annual Meeting held in Boca Raton, Florida, that Pfizer’s New Containment (NEWCON) Facility for Oral Solid Dosage is the overall winner of the 2008 Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA).
Pfizer Manufacturing Deutschland GmbH is a strategic manufacturing plant in the Pfizer Global Manufacturing (PGM) network. The facility in Illertissen, Germany needed to increase its capacity in 2006 to accommodate the growing market demand for the recently developed smoking cessation drug Chantix. The newly built NEWCON facility is a single-floor, single-containment module that can house up to three production trains, with one train currently operational for the production of Varenicline (Chantix, Champix). According to IMS benchmarks, this was the fastest product launch in the European pharmaceutical industry, with 16 European countries launched in a five-month period.
According to ISPE, Pfizer’s NEWCON facility was named the overall 2008 Facility of the Year Award winner in part because all of its production equipment is located in a dedicated processing module and is mostly automated to ensure that no dust from the highly potent Varenicline can escape from the manufacturing area. This containment concept made possible, for the first time, dust-free production and fully automated production of film-coated tablets. All of the process stages are controlled and monitored from a separate control room so that employees do not come into contact with dust that might be generated during the tablet production run. This extent of automation has not previously existed in containment production anywhere in the world.
“It is a big honor to be the Facility of the Year category winner in Process Innovation,” said Holger Weyhers, Pfizer’s Head of Production, upon being notified of Pfizer’s category win. “This is the first time that Pfizer has received an award for process innovation -- and this is the result of our hard work and innovative thinking.”
The Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) program recognizes state-of-the-art pharmaceutical manufacturing projects that use new and innovative technologies to enhance the delivery of a quality project, as well as reduce the cost of producing high-quality medicines.