GE Healthcare’s Pharmaceutical Diagnostics business announced an $80 million investment to increase manufacturing capacity by 30 percent at its Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) site in Lindesnes, Norway. The investment – which is creating around 100 new jobs – is part of GE Healthcare’s broader commitment to address significant future global demand for iodinated contrast media, used in Xray and Computed Tomography (CT) procedures around the world to enhance visualization of organs, blood vessels and tissues across disease pathways.
Iohexol and iodixanol API are used in over 100 million patient doses of GE iodinated contrast media annually, equivalent to three patient procedures every second. This new investment, coupled with the recent opening of a new production line at GE Healthcare’s Cork, Ireland, fill and finish facility, aims to enable the production of 30 million more patient doses per year by 2025.
“We expect global demand for iodinated contrast media to double in the next 10 years, driven by global prevalence of chronic disorders and significant growth in CT procedures. This investment in capacity expansion at our Lindesnes facility is another example of how we, as an industry leader, are addressing this growing demand to meet the needs of our customers and their patients across the globe," said President & CEO of GE Healthcare Pharmaceutical Diagnostics, Kevin O’Neill.
The 100-acre Lindesnes site in southern Norway, has been operating since 1974 and employs 450 people, who use multiple chemical pharmaceutical processes to convert iodine into finished API. Recently, GE Healthcare announced a multi-year agreement with SQM, a Chile-based mining company, to secure increasing supply of iodine, the key ingredient in iodinated contrast media.
GE Healthcare is the world’s leading supplier of contrast media, used to support patient imaging procedures in 130+ countries globally. All stages of its contrast media manufacturing, from development of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) to finished product, are managed entirely by GE Healthcare, adhering to current Good Manufacturing Practices. With over 4000 employees globally and seven manufacturing sites, the Pharmaceutical Diagnostics business also develops and supplies radiopharmaceuticals used to support diagnosis, monitoring and treatment selection across Neurology, Cardiology and Oncology clinical pathways.