Canadian Plastics

Astra Pharma reveals record expansion

One of the largest expansions in the history of the Canadian pharmaceutical industry has been announced by Mississauga-based Astra Pharma Incorporated. The expansion is expected to create 700 new jobs...

April 1, 1999   Canadian Plastics



One of the largest expansions in the history of the Canadian pharmaceutical industry has been announced by Mississauga-based Astra Pharma Incorporated. The expansion is expected to create 700 new jobs from a capital investment which will exceed $250 million by 2007. In the initial phase of the project, a 320,000 square foot manufacturing complex costing $154 million will be constructed at the company’s Mississauga headquarters, housing four new production lines. The initial phase will be completed by 2001. The second phase, to be completed by 2007, will cost an additional $100 million and add a further six lines. The new capacity will increase Astra’s output by 700 percent.

The plastics perspective on the expansion is that the expansion will make Astra Canada the global firm’s single source supplier of plastic-coated pain management and sterile liquid products for Canada, the U.S., Central, and South America. The primary resin technology is an advanced form of blow/fill/seal, a process similar to blow molding, with product injection and sealing of the plastic ampoule all occurring in the press. The “Polyamps” are molded in both polypropylene and polyethylene. The ten additional packaging lines will increase output from 35 million units annually to 220 million by 2007. Astra Pharma president and CEO Gerald McDole credits the recent review of Bill C-91, the Act to amend the Patent Act, as the key factor in the decision of Swedish parent Astra AB to opt for Canadian expansion.

“For the past two years, the board of our Swedish parent company had been considering Canada as one of five countries in the world to build the new plant and increase production. Canada is attractive for so many reasons, but the decision was deferred until we were assured that the regulatory environment here is conducive to the growth we are planning,” McDole says.


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