In quick turn, ten23 already looking to expand Visp fill-finish site
Last October, ten23 health acquired a Visp, Switzerland, site from swissfillon, a local pharma known for its fill-finish operations. On Monday, the CDMO announced that it will expand the Visp manufacturing site by adding another 1,000-square-meters of clean room space for device assembly and packaging by the end of this year.
Cost was not disclosed.
Ten23 picked up swissfillon just a month after it launched. CEO Hanns-Christian Mahler has been a pharma guy his whole life and worked at Lonza as the head of drug product services from 2015 until his move over to ten23 in March. It’s his second go at the helm of a startup, as he co-founded drug delivery company Kriyabio after working at Merck for five years and before that 10 years at Roche. The speed of the swissfillon pickup was unprecedented, even for Mahler.
“That was a little insane,” he said in a call with Endpoints News on Monday. “Now this is basically the first expansion on the acquired company.”
Expanding the site has been on the ten23 team’s radar from the day the acquisition happened. Even as it negotiated the acquisition, ten23 was in talks with the building’s landlords, ensuring that it could expand appropriately, and add more employees at the site as well.
By expanding into more complex dosage forms, with syringes and cartridges, the swissfillon acquisition allowed ten23 to provide its customer base with more options beyond the standard vial, though it needed more space to do so. So it added a flex-room where operators can put machinery and hardware with a smaller footprint. It bought an assembly machine to put on a tabletop first, but the space can be converted for other responsibilities as well later on.
Ten23 needed the space in part because clients and partners were demanding different variations of filling, but also because drug delivery-device companies began approaching them as well.
“That flex room provides us with a lot of opportunity to do a lot of variable things in there,” he said. “It came really about from our own past knowledge, that’s where products usually go next.”
The site can produce batches ranging from 1 liter to 200 liters in volume.
Ten23’s headquarters are in Basel, Switzerland, in a space it took over from a US company that makes medicines for pets and livestock. In a September interview, Mahler hinted that there were a few deals on the horizon, but wasn’t ready to discuss those any further. He echoed the same sentiment was Monday on a call with Endpoints News, saying that more news probably will come out in a few months.
As a part of ten23’s sustainability commitment, it announced a partnership with Seven Clean Seas in 2021. The organization will help the CDMO cut back on its use of plastic and single-use products, preventing them from winding up in the ocean. In November, it revealed its board of directors, which features Nikhil Patel and Richard Rely of the 3i Group.