Global injectable drugs developer and manufacturer West Pharmaceutical Services Inc. (NYSE: WST) has opened an innovation center in Ra'anana, which will employ 95 people. The new 2,700 square meters office will merge the company's existing Israel R&D facilities in Ra'anana and Or Yehuda.
West Pharmaceuticals has been operating in Israel since 2005 after acquiring Medimop in 2003 from Israeli entrepreneur Freddy Zinger.
Israel serves as one of several regional technology hubs of expertise for West along with Ireland, Germany, Singapore, and the United States.
West Israel operations VP and general manager Jacob Weiser stresses that West's Israel's operation extend beyond R&D to include inventing products through to production and marketing. In addition to its own workforce, West Israel has 200 subcontractors devoting most of their time to the company's products. He said, "They may be subcontractors but they are working almost only for us and using our equipment. We are currently undergoing a momentum of growth and looking for engineers in the north and center of the country.
West Israel focuses on the production of drugs that require mixing two components before use and that are packaged in such a way that they can be used safely in the patient's home. Weiser said, "We allow treatment in the patient's home where previously the patient had to be hospitalized."
The team in Israel develops and manufactures many well-known West products including the Vial2Bag Admixture systems, the MixJect reconstitution system, Intradermal Adapter product family, Mix2Vial needle-free reconstitution and transfer system, and the SmartDose drug delivery platform, which was launched with commercial success in 2016. Co-locating the I&T centers with commercial and operations enables West to be more effective and customer centric by facilitating technology transfer and new product development across the packaging, containment and delivery platforms.
How have you succeded in keeping production operations in Israel?
Weiser, "We convinced them that there is no point in shifting manufacturing to other countries because it requires a skilled workforce to produce these products that was already working here when the company was acquired, and because the cost of employees is not the most significant part of the product's cost."
West is headquartered in Exton, Pennsylvania, and supports its customers from locations in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. West’s 2017 net sales of $1.6 billion reflect the daily use of approximately 112 million of its components and devices, which are designed to improve the delivery of healthcare to patients around the world.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 28, 2018
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