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ELAN TO DOUBLE SIZE OF GAINESVILLE, GA. FACILITY FOR PRODUCTION OF NICOTINE PATCH AND OTHER DRUGS

            ELAN TO DOUBLE SIZE OF GAINESVILLE, GA. FACILITY
            FOR PRODUCTION OF NICOTINE PATCH AND OTHER DRUGS
    ATHLONE, Ireland, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Elan Corporation, plc (AMEX: ELN) is doubling the size of its Gainesville, Ga. production facility to 50,000 square feet to accommodate U.S. market needs for its nicotine patch and to avoid projected supply constraints of Verelan, a fast-growing cardiovascular drug introduced to the American market in May of last year.
    The expanded facility will also make room for production of a new formulation of the antibiotic erythromycin, and provide additional space to back-up the company's expanding clinical and regulatory programs.
    "The Gainesville addition furthers the balance of our geographic spread and further insures our long-term goals in worldwide pharmaceutical markets, reinforcing our mind-to-market strategy," said Donald E. Panoz, Elan's chairman and chief executive officer.
    Elan currently manufactures its nicotine patch for smoke cessation in Athlone to supply the Irish and South Korean markets.  Shipments of the patch to Italy, Germany, Denmark and Greece, which will commence next month, will be made from Athlone.
    U.S. marketing of the patch will be handled by Lederle Laboratories under an exclusive licensing agreement announced last August.  It is currently in the final stages of FDA approval with market availability expected in the near future.  Initial U.S. supplies will be shipped from Athlone.
    Third Expansion For Verelan
    Verelan, the popular hypertensive agent, is produced in both Athlone and Gainesville and is co-marketed in the U.S. by Lederle and American Home Products.  It's a once daily formulation of varapamil, the most widely prescribed calcium channel blocker for hypertension. The new plans at Gainesville will facilitate the projected growth for this product.
    The company's improved erythromycin, called Erthelan, is currently in the final stages of clinical testing in the U.S. and will be marketed in the U.S. by Elan in a joint venture with Connaught Laboratories. Marketing in other parts of the world will be handled by various Elan licensees.  The product offers three times the availability of the conventional drug, is pleasant tasting and requires no refrigeration. Analysts say the U.S. market of erythromycin is about $150 million yearly.
    Elan Corporation, plc is a leader in the specialized health care field of advanced reformulation and drug delivery, concentrating on improved drug absorption and utilization.  Elan operates research and manufacturing facilities in Athlone, Republic of Ireland; Gainesville; Enschede, Netherlands; Manila, Philippines; Brea, Calif., and Cambridge, Mass.
    -0-           12/16/91
    /CONTACT:  Thomas Redington, 203-222-7399 or 212-926-1733, for Elan/
    (ELN) CO:  Elan Corporation, plc ST:  Georgia IN:  MTC SU: TS-FC -- NY013 -- 2387 12/16/91 09:18 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 16, 1991
Words:439
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