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Fermion's new plant operational in Hanko - nearly 100% of production is exported

Orion Corporation Press release 14 June 2018 at 9.00 a.m.

Fermion's new plant operational in Hanko - nearly 100% of production is exported

Fermion Oy, which manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for the global market, has reached a significant milestone in its investment project by entering the commissioning phase of its new plant in Hanko.  The new, highly automated manufacturing facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology will replace the company's oldest manufacturing unit. At the same time, it will ensure Fermion's preparedness for the production of the active ingredients for Orion's new proprietary products now in the clinical trial phase. Fermion currently manufactures azathioprine, which is an antirejection drug included in the WHO Essential Medicines List, and used, for example, in organ transplants. Azathioprine is one of the products for which Fermion is a world-leading manufacturer.

In 2016 Fermion, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Finnish Orion, announced its investment of more than EUR 30 million in the modernisation of production equipment at its plant in Hanko to meet both increasing global demand and the tightening requirements on quality, safety, the environment, and occupational health in the pharmaceutical industry. The investment will also make it possible to increase the plant's production capacity by approximately 50% from the current level, up to nearly 300 tonnes a year. Depending on the pharmaceutical, one tonne of its active ingredient can proved as many as 100 million doses.

"New requirements for the manufacturing of APIs are continuously being introduced regarding the use and the quality of the facilities and the equipment. The new manufacturing facility will meet these requirements and ensure our preparedness to meet increasing demand regarding the pharmaceuticals under development by the parent company Orion and the APIs to be delivered to other pharmaceutical companies," says Arto Toivonen, President of Fermion Oy. 

Nearly 100% of Fermion's production is exported. The largest market areas are the USA and Europe. In addition, the APIs manufactured by the company are exported to India, for example, where production costs are significantly lower than in Finland. In addition to the parent company Orion, clients include some of the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers.

In many of its own products, Fermion is a global leader in the manufacturing of APIs. Its key products include entacapone, manufactured at the Hanko plant, which is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and azathioprine, which is used as an antirejection drug in organ transplants. The latter is also included in the WHO Essential Medicines List. Fermion is also a leading manufacturer of methotrexate, used in the treatment of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, and the producer of 6-mercaptopurine, used in the treatment of leukemia and Crohn's disease. Both of the products are manufactured at the company's Oulu plant.

"At Fermion, we have wanted to focus in particular on the development of more challenging products. The market segment of high-potency APIs is growing faster on average than the market of all APIs. The modernised production equipment in Hanko will continue to strengthen our competitiveness in the global market. The number of personnel at Fermion's Hanko plant is expected to remain at the current level, i.e. at approximately 160 persons," Toivonen continues.

The opening of the new production unit at the Hanko plant is celebrated today on 14 June. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen and the Mayor of Hanko Denis Strandell, among others, will attend the opening.

"It is great to see how Finnish production and high-level expertise is in demand around the world. The opening of Fermion's new production unit in Hanko is a good example of the domestic investment by a Finnish company operating in the international market bearing fruit," says Minister Virolainen.

Further information:
ArtoToivonen, President, Fermion
Tel. +358 (0)50 966 7402

A member of the Orion Group, Fermion is a Finnish manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). In addition, Fermion manufactures and develops active pharmaceutical ingredients for Orion and other pharmaceutical companies around the world. Fermion has the special expertise and capacity to manufacture high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients, and is the global leader in some of the products it manufactures. Fermion's plants are located in Hanko and Oulu. In 2017, the company's turnover, excluding the deliveries to Orion amounted to EUR 51 million.

Orion Group
Orion is a globally operating Finnish pharmaceutical company - a builder of well-being. Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company is continuously developing new drugs and treatment methods. The core therapy areas of Orion's pharmaceutical R&D are central nervous system (CNS) disorders, oncology and respiratory diseases for which Orion develops inhaled Easyhaler® pulmonary drugs. Orion's adjusted net sales in 2017 amounted to EUR 1,034 million and the company had about 3,200 employees. Orion's A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

Published by Orion Group
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