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DPT Laboratories makes $8 million in upgrades to manufacturing site
March 9, 2016

Courtesy Photo /DPT Laboratories 

San Antonio-based DPT Laboratories recently completed $8 million in upgrades at its manufacturing facility at 307 E. Josephine St. The changes will help the company increase its production capacity and precision.

By Peggy O'Hare, San Antonio Express-News

DPT Laboratories, which develops and manufactures medications for pharmaceutical companies, has completed $8 million in upgrades to its San Antonio manufacturing facility, allowing the company to accommodate increased demand for existing products and the introduction of new products.

The upgrades included the addition of a new compounding suite and the installation of a high-speed bottle filling line.

"We are very excited about it ... We are growing, continuing to grow and have a real strong stance in San Antonio as a long-term employer," said Lyle Flom, vice president and general manager of DPT's San Antonio site operations. "The future looks great."

DPT makes liquids, creams, lotions, ointments, gels and aerosol foams from raw materials, then packages those items and sends them to pharmaceutical companies' distribution systems. It also helps pharmaceutical companies develop new medications to bring to the commercial market.

In recent years, DPT's customers have included GSK, also known as GlaxoSmithKline; Pfizer; Merck and Johnson & Johnson. DPT spokeswoman Stacy London declined to say Wednesday if those companies are still DPT customers, citing confidentiality agreements.

HEALTH & FAMILY

Most of the medications made by DPT require prescriptions, Flom said. The company produces 80 million to 100 million units of medication for the commercial market each year.

DPT's high-speed bottle filling line, installed in 2014 or 2015, can manufacture large quantities of medications - up to 5,000 to 6,000 gallons at a time, Flom said. The company's bottle packaging capabilities span 165 to 280 units a minute. The company also is installing a twin-head tube filling system capable of packaging medications in both metal tubes and plastic tubes, which will boost production line speed.

"It really does give us an opportunity to grow with our customers, with the existing employee base that we have," Flom said. "That gives us a ton of flexibility within our existing footprint."

DPT has to make sure it has the necessary capacity to handle new products as soon as the FDA approves them, CEO and Chief Operating Officer Paul Johnson said Wednesday. Sometimes pharmaceutical customers invest five to 10 years in a new product before FDA approval is received, he said.

As a result of the upgrades, DPT won't have to open additional facilities, which would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval.

"We continue investing heavily in our facilities because the FDA requirements are always increasing," Johnson said. "One of our differentiating factors of why we've been so successful is that we've had a very good track record of compliance with the FDA. That's not something you do once - you continue having to invest in that."

DPT, a privately held company, has more than 1,100 employees. More than 800 of them are in San Antonio. The company also runs an aerosol facility on Distribution Drive and a research and development office and distribution center at Brooks City Base, while its corporate headquarters are located downtown.

pohare@express-news.net

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