Monosol LLC has shifted its laboratory operations to a new, 3,000-square-foot addition, now that a sister pharmaceutical company has taken over space at its plant.
The sister unit, MonosolRX LLC, is preparing to release a new line of water-soluble film products with Leiner Health Products of Carson, Calif., said Monosol Chief Executive Officer P. Scott Bening. Leiner will introduce film strips that help soothe coughs and colds for children and relieve sore throat pain. The strips are designed to dissolve on users' tongues, allowing medicine to absorb quickly into the bloodstream.
The pharmaceutical operation has continued to grow and take space in the Portage plant, as drugs delivered in edible film gain regulatory approval, Bening said. Other drug makers, including Novartis AG, already have drug-delivery products in film form on the market.
Monosol started its pharmaceutical line in January 2004, when the company purchased the assets of Kosmos Pharma Ltd. of Great Falls, Va. Kosmos, a development company, formed a joint venture with Monosol to commercialize oral film for pharmaceutical use.
``We didn't know how long it would take or how big a project it would be,'' Bening said in a July 25 telephone interview. ``But we knew it was a way to diversify our water-soluble film products. [Pharmaceutical] products have become their own entity and have their own life, apart from our other products.''
That has caused the company to move its Monosol LLC lab from the main plant to the addition on the Portage building's upper floor. That company makes dissolvable consumer bags and pouches, including those carrying dishwasher detergent, soaps and disinfectants, that disappear upon contact with water.
The Monosol LLC unit also makes film to transport sterile medical devices and bags for soiled linens in hospitals or health-care facilities. The use of bags avoids human handling of contaminated linens before they are cleaned.
With the growth of the RX business, Monosol also plans to move its administrative offices to a new location in the Portage region, Bening said. The company is seeking an outside site.
The new Monosol LLC lab has added analytical equipment, he said. The lab has about 10 employees; the company employs a total of 210. The firm includes production sites in Portage for both company units and an operation in Hartlebury, England, that Monosol bought last year.
All the firm's water-soluble product lines are growing, Bening said. The company has 51 patents pending for new applications.