Lab Canada

Contract pharma operation to build facility in Cape Breton (December 10, 2004)

Halifax, NS -Two projects are being planned that will lay the groundwork for a pharmaceutical industry in Cape Breton. The announcement was made by Premier John Hamm and Joseph McGuire, federal minister for Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, the Cape Breton Growth Fund and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

In the first project, contract pharmaceutical manufacturing company Keata Pharma is establishing a manufacturing operation in North Sydney. The project is receiving financial assistance from the growth fund, Enterprise Cape Breton, ACOA and Nova Scotia Business (NSBI). It is expected to bring about 165 new jobs to the area over the next three years.

In a related project, the University College of Cape Breton (UCCB), in partnership with the company, will launch a new biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology certificate program to train potential employees.

Keata’s parent company, PharmEng Technology, will also establish a pharmaceutical consulting office in Cape Breton, employing an additional 12 professional staff. PharmEng is a pharmaceutical and biotechnology consulting firm based in Toronto, with offices in Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver and China.

Keata says its move to Cape Breton will better position it to diversify its products and services. Over the coming year, the company plans to acquire equipment and necessary approvals to provide formulation development, testing services and to manufacture and package products in solid and liquid dosage forms. Keata’s long- term goal is to produce more technologically challenging products and develop capabilities in other dosage forms, such as suppositories, topicals and injectables.

The PharmEng consulting office will initially provide the technical support for the Keata plant during construction and start up. Over time, the office will provide consulting services to clients in Atlantic Canada, the Eastern United States and other international markets.

The total start up cost of the Keata project is $12.5 million, and includes construction of a new 35,000 sq-ft facility, equipment, regulatory compliance and marketing. The plant will be operational in early 2006.