Novartis’ generics and biosimilars division Sandoz has unveiled plans to join forces with the Austrian government to make a joint investment in European antibiotics manufacturing.

The German pharmaceutical firm intends to invest more than €150m ($175.5m) over the next five years to strengthen its antibiotic manufacturing operations at Kundl, a town in Austria.

Also, Sandoz plans to develop and deploy advanced manufacturing technology for both active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished dosage forms (FDFs) of the integrated antibiotics.

Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor said: “This plan is a great example of government and the private sector working closely together to protect the long-term interests of patients in Europe and beyond.

“Antibiotics are the backbone of modern medicine and our Kundl facility in Austria is the hub and centre of the last remaining integrated production chain for antibiotics in the western world. This joint investment will help to keep it that way.”

Sandoz will manufacture penicillin products at Kundl to address demand in Europe

The Austrian federal government will provide around €50m ($58.5m) funding towards the investment, aimed at increasing European-based production of essential medicines.

The government funding is expected to support the new process technology to produce API for penicillin products at Kundl.

Sandoz will produce adequate penicillin products at Kundl, the company’s manufacturing hub for antibiotic FDFs and centre for its European antibiotics manufacturing network, to potentially address all current demand across Europe.

The joint investment is subject to formal approvals by both parties, where Sandoz and the Austrian government anticipate a formal closing of the agreement before the end of 2020.

Novartis Technical Operations (NTO) global head Steffen Lang said: “Novartis is committed to sustaining a resilient and competitive supply chain for the essential medicines Sandoz markets.

“I am proud that NTO is leveraging its market-leading manufacturing expertise to enable Sandoz to further strengthen the supply of these vital medicines, and we can build upon the high manufacturing and quality standards at the Kundl site and further deepen its vertical integration.”