Things loooking up for Banner Pharamacaps
It’s looking increasingly likely that a highly specialized manufacturing plant in Olds will continue to operate — albeit under new ownership.
Patheon Inc. of North Carolina confirmed recently that it has struck a deal to sell its Banner Pharmacaps plant at 5807 47th Ave. to Calgary-based Advanced Orthomolecular Research. Patheon had announced in March that it would be closing the plant, which employs more than 100 people, on Oct. 31.
Operating in Olds since 1981, the facility encapsulates nutritional and pharmaceutical ingredients in soft gel pills. Advanced Orthomolecular Research produces supplements and vitamins in two-piece shell capsules, tablets and bulk powders, but not in soft gels.
Clark Sayer, Advanced Orthomolecular Research’s general manager, said expanding his company’s output to include soft gels is appealing because the pills are popular with many consumers.
“The intent is to keep producing soft gels, using as many current staff as we possibly can.”
Sayer expressed optimism that production at the plant could meet or even exceed current levels. But, he added, it could take some time to reach those volumes.
“At this point all we can say is we’ll do the best that the market allows us to do.”
Sayer also cautioned that the sale has yet to be concluded.
“The anticipated closing date is Oct. 31 and until both parties sign on the dotted line, nothing is really cast in concrete.”
Advanced Orthomolecular Research produces about 200 products, said Sayer, with all manufacturing done in Calgary. The company is currently completing a 60,000-square-foot expansion of its plant.
“Our primary distribution is Canada, secondary is the U.S., and beyond that is the U.K. and Europe,” he said.
Patheon bought Banner Pharmacaps from Dutch company VION N.V. a year ago. Patheon plans to continue operating other Banner Pharmacaps manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, Mexico City and the Netherlands.
Sayer pointed out that the Olds plant has very sophisticated equipment, but is limited in its applications.
“It’s designed to produce soft gels, and that’s about all it’s good for without a massive rework.”