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PharmaZen doubles capacity to keep up with demand

Published: Thu 2 Nov 2006 11:51 AM
PharmaZen doubles capacity to keep up with demand


Click to enlarge
Freeze dryer ­ PharmaZen chief executive Craig McIntosh inspects product coming from the new freeze dryer.


Click to enlarge
Freeze dryer ­ PharmaZen chief executive Craig McIntosh inspects product coming from the new freeze dryer.
For Immediate Release
Thursday, November 2
PharmaZen doubles capacity to keep up with demand
Biotechnology company PharmaZen has just invested $1m in plant and machinery which will double the company's potential turnover from $7 million to $14 million per year.
With demand outstripping supply for the company's animal and human health products, the cost of the new plant will be recovered very quickly.
Shares in PharmaZen are traded through the unregistered securities trading facility.
PharmaZen chief executive, Craig McIntosh, said the investment has predominantly been in milling and drying while other efficiencies had also been gained on the operational side with a significant investment in a heat recovery system.
The Company's most notable investment has been in a purpose designed vacuum drying system which can also be operated as a wet processing unit.
"We had looked around for an off the shelf solution which would enable us to wet process product and then continue through into a drying stage without the need to transfer product to another vessel (traditional technology). When we couldn't find a suitable solution we looked at the feasibility of having one designed and built, which is what we did."
The unit was finally commissioned in October and the company is extremely happy with the results, reporting not only the anticipated increase in throughput but an improvement in product yield due to reduced handling losses.
"There were a lot of teething problems which were always to be expected on such an innovative project and overall it took a lot longer than anticipated to have it up and running but in terms of performance it is better than we could have hoped for."
The plant upgrade is scheduled for completion early next month.
The new plant has been installed in PharmaZen's wholly-owned Waitaki Biosciences International unit in Christchurch where it manufactures a range of powder products extracted from a wide range of animal and marine sources. The range includes green-lipped mussel, shark cartilage, natural calcium and Chondroitin Sulphate. The products are used by other companies as a base for health products, mainly in the areas of bone health, joint health, immune and digestive support.
"We have always struggled to keep up with demand. Our level of efficiency was poor but that has increased markedly over the last 12 months and now we have the capacity to go to a new level," he said.
The company reported a loss of $183,000 on turnover of $5.58million for the 2005 year. It anticipates turnover of $6 million for 2006 with a significant lift in profit.
ENDS

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