Nova Scotia

N.S. drug plant future dim: analyst

The prospects for an idle pharmaceutical plant in North Sydney are not looking good, an industry analyst says.

The prospects for an idle pharmaceutical plant in North Sydney, N.S., are not looking good, an industry analyst says.

Stirling Pharma Inc. bought the plant a year ago after the previous owner went bankrupt. Fewer than a dozen people work there.

Joseph D'Cruz, a business professor at the University of Toronto, said it's a particularly tough time to bring a plant into production.

He said drug companies are downsizing as brand-name drug patents expire and new plants to produce generic drugs sprout up in India and China.

"Like all the brand-name companies, [Stirling] is suffering financially. That's an industry-wide phenomenon, and that's not going to change in the near term. I don't think this plant has good prospects of starting up," he said.

Wayne Miller, vice-president of sales and marketing for the North Sydney plant, said the plant has great potential, though he admits the pharmaceutical market is soft at the moment.

He said the plant is waiting for start-up financing from the parent company in Australia.

"Word from Australia is that it's very soon, in the very near term, that all of the financial resources will be in place to ignite the plant," Miller told CBC News last week.

The plant first opened in the Northside Industrial Park in 2007. Keata Pharma Inc. went bankrupt two years later.

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