CONGERS, N.Y.—Aptar Pharma inaugurated an expanded Congers site on March 20, a $10 million project that will help facilitate the company's expected growth.
The firm will add a Class 5 and a Class 7 clean room to its 130,000-sq.-ft. facility, both focused on producing injectable elastomeric component products for the pharmaceutical industry. It also will add new equipment to perform automatic inspection of all parts during the finishing process to ensure product quality.
Aptar said it anticipates being able to ship validation batches to customers in the second quarter. The Pharma Division employs about 200 people at Congers with 20 more at a testing facility in Baltimore. The Congers site already houses five clean rooms.
"The pharma market in the U.S. is the most sought after," said Alex Theodorakis, Aptar Pharma North America president. "It's growing, sustainable in the long term, with a healthy and committed customer base. You want to be present in the U.S. for all those reasons. To take it to the next level and be a recognized player out here, we needed to have a more established manufacturing presence in this country."
The site predominantly serves the U.S. market, but Theodorakis said it also serves the Canadian market with some exports going to Europe and India.
Aptar Pharma operates in three main product segments—prescription products, consumer health care products and injectables—which includes products such as elastomeric closures, stoppers for vials, prefilled syringes, and cartridge components such as plungers, needle shields and tip caps.
Theodorakis said its injectables business is growing the fastest, prompting the firm to make investments to increase its market share.
"The injectable business is growing in terms of both value and volume," Theodorakis said. "You have some of the newer drugs out there that are considered very low volume, but at an extremely high price. But there is also the more generic, what we call small molecule, products that are growing as well. We see opportunity on both sides of the business."
The Pharma Division accounts for about $712 million in sales with sites in Argentina, China, France, Germany, India, Switzerland and the U.S. The group's remaining divisions include Beauty & Home ($1.3 billion in sales) and Food & Beverage ($332 million).
"It's the fastest growing segment of Aptar," Theodorakis said. "It continues to be a market in which we believe we can grow, both organically and through potential acquisitions and partnerships, while we continue to also invest in our other businesses to maintain the market diversity that has been Aptar's strength all along."
Aptar Pharma is one of three divisions of AptarGroup Inc., a $2.3 billion global supplier of a range of dispensing solutions for the beauty, personal care, home care, prescription drug, consumer health, car, injectables, food and beverage markets. The firm is headquartered in Crystal Lake, Ill., with facilities in North America, Europe, Asia and South America.
"Aptar has always had the strategic goal of being as diversified as possible in terms of the markets that we sell to," Theodorakis said. "In Pharma, pretty much all of our revenue is derived from dispensing systems or closures made from plastic and rubber parts, just as they are in our other segments. However, what distinguishes Pharma is the (Good Manufacturing Practices) systems and procedures that are expected from the industry, as well as the technical and regulatory expertise that we bring to the table."