Contract manufacturer expands to meet increased demand

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Manufacturing

Contract manufacturer expands to meet increased demand
Increased demand for contract manufacturing services has led Axiom Nutraceuticals to retrofit a recently acquired facility to bring its manufacturing footprint to more than 100,000 square feet, the company announced recently.

Axiom, based in Newnan, GA,  acquired a facility previously owned by Metaugus Inc.  The new facility will give Axiom (which acquired the space under the name of a subsidiary, Axiom Laboratories) daily production capacities of 10 million capsules, 150,000 tablets, 75,000 units of powdered product, and 50,000 liquid product units, according to the company.

A key part of the acquisition process was to retrofit the facility to meet the latests in GMP standards.  Metaugus, the previous owner, had received an FDA warning letter in 2013 for a biotin product produced for an own label distributor that did not meet label claim.  But that inspection did not mention any deficiencies in the facility itself. 

Nevertheless, changes were needed, particularly in the ventilation arrangements at the facility, said Drew Sfugaras, vice president of sales for Axiom.

“The whole plant had to be redone when we picked it up. For example, the ventilation wasn’t set up correctly and you could have had cross contamination between areas where different products were being made,” ​Sfugaras told NutraIngredients-USA. “There was a lot to do to get it up to code.”

Increased demand

Sfugaras said the increasing burden of GMP compliance has driven some smaller manufacturers out of business.  And others, who are looking to expand with new product lines, are finding it easier and cheaper to develop these in concert with a contract manufacturer.  This is of course true for the company’s core set of customers, product marketers who weren’t anticipating getting into the manufacturing game in the first place.

“There has been a huge push for compliance in this industry. We have seen some companies that can’t handle it just go out of the business,” ​Sfugaras said.

“Going with a contract manufacturer allows distributors to build a business without having to worry about the ins and outs of complex manufacturing.  There are so many segments for us to target and we do have marketers as customers who have never manufactured a product,”​ he said.

Sfugaras said Axiom is keen to counteract the belief within the industry that some contract manufacturers will do or say almost anything to get a contract signed.  Axiom takes a long view, he said.

“You had companies come on and market themselves as manufacturers when they really weren’t and were just trying to broker services,”​ Sfugaras said. “We are more worried about providing a true product that is what it said it is. We are not interested in cutting corners.  We will still be in business in 10 years versus somebody who doesn’t make that commitment who might not.

“We are vertically integrated and we act as our own ingredient sourcer. We have four PhDs on staff.  We have added some new machinery and have been able to expand on the R&D side, and we expect to have some exciting new products launching within the next quarter or two,”​ he said.

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