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Laboratory Facilities Attracts ‘Knowledge Exports’

November 22, 2001

New Auckland Laboratory Facilities Attracts ‘Knowledge Exports’

New $3 million dollar laboratory facilities which are being opened tomorrow by Apotex NZ Ltd, in Auckland, will help New Zealand manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, food products, and animal remedies boost sales and export revenue.

The expanded laboratory is also likely to attract international business because of New Zealand’s cost competitiveness, and is one example of how New Zealand can make money from knowledge-based resources.

“The new Apotex facilities are an important addition to the knowledge networks in this country,” says Apotex NZ Ltd CEO, Colin Robertson.

The new facilities are an extension of Apotex’s existing laboratory in Glenfield.

The exisiting laboratory is notable for having been:

- accredited to ISO 9001-2000 standards; and

- marked acceptable, for specific purposes, under an audit by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (See media backgrounder for details of FDA inspections.)

“So, the new facilities will expand what is already a world-class laboratory,”Mr Robertson says. “And they will expand our abilitity to serve New Zealand companies that want to break into new markets.”

Eventually Apotex’s Glenfield laboratory is likely to be attractive to off-shore companies wanting to test formulations to US standards at much lower cost than they can in North America.

“We believe there is strong regional demand for our services,” says Mr Robertson.

Apotex is a New Zealand subsidiary of a large, Canadian pharmaceutical company. Until recently its focus was testing imported medicines to meet NZ regulatory approval then packaging and distributing them.

The investment in new facilities and an expanded its laboratory business is recognition by its Canadian parent company that there is significant potential in developing this niche ‘knowledge industry’ in New Zealand.

“We have a cost advantage,” says Mr Robertson. “At the same time, we have world class technologies and people.”

“Within three or four years we expect our third-party testing and product formulation will rival our medicine distribution business,” Mr Robertson said.

Apotex also uses the laboratory facilities for testing Apotex Group products which are being registered world-wide.

Apotex NZ Ltd employs about 40 staff and distributes about $6 (NZ) million of generic pharmaceuticals in New Zealand every year. These products have directly assisted in reducing the cost of medicines to New Zealand taxpayers.

Apotex Inc is Canada’s largest generic pharmaceutical company, employing more than 4,000 people worldwide. It has annual international group sales of more than US$1.1 billion.

Ends

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