Manufacturing roundup: Pharmaron secures acquisition of a Rhode Island facility; GSK to open hub in South America
A Chinese pharma company is growing its presence in the US with a newly acquired API manufacturing site.
Pharmaron has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a Coventry, Rhode Island-based API manufacturing site from drug manufacturer Noramco, which was previously owned by Johnson & Johnson and now owned by the private equity firm SK Capital.
According to Pharmaron, the site has an established history of API manufacturing from pilot kilogram to commercial metric ton scales. However, according to The People’s Radio, an NPR station covering Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts, the facility was formerly owned by a subsidiary of Purdue Pharmaceuticals called Rhodes Technologies and was known for making opioid products. According to that report, because of Purdue’s 2019 bankruptcy filing, the Coventry factory was sold to Noramco, another opioid ingredient manufacturer.
Noramco refused to make any comment to Endpoints News, and no details on the purchase price were provided.
According to Pharmaron, the acquisition aims to expand its chemistry and manufacturing services in the US. Along with its existing service capabilities and capacities in China and the UK, this site’s addition will add to Pharmaron’s end-to-end CMC services.
“We are delighted to have the Coventry Site join the Pharmaron Group. Its proven regulatory and commercial manufacturing track record, combined with the highly experienced and stable team, provides a unique opportunity to rapidly expand our chemistry and manufacturing services capabilities in North America and enrich our global network of services,” said Boliang Lou, Chairman and CEO of Pharmaron, in a statement.
Pharmaron has been on an acquisition streak in the past year, also purchasing a Liverpool manufacturing facility from AbbVie as part of a $118.7 million sale.
South Korean chemical company looking to make headway in a new CDMO business
A South Korean subsidiary of the Hanmi Pharmaceutical Group is looking to expand its capabilities in the contract development and manufacturing space.
Hanmi Fine Chemicals, which specializes in API development and manufacturing, is now looking to accelerate into a new business sector by expanding its specialties from ongoing APIs to ‘high-tech CDMO’ services.
According to the company, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought an increase in the global demand for high-level, synthetic bio-pharmaceutical raw materials. Therefore, Hanmi FC is looking to launch its areas of the business to include CDMO projects in relevant fields.
The company will be looking to invest about 10 billion KRW ($7.9 million) to build facilities for its new CDMO focus. Last year, Hanmi FC was selected to conduct the Korean government’s project for expanding production facilities for Covid-19 vaccines and raw materials and received 1.6 billion KRW ($1.2 million) in support of such efforts. Furthermore, the company plans to upgrade these facilities even more by supplementing 8 billion KRW ($6.3 million) from its funds.
Hanmi Fine Chemicals has previously worked on Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s biologics and anticancer drugs, as well as the development and production of raw materials.
The company is also conducting preclinical and clinical CDMO projects with 10 domestic and foreign companies, and it is expected to form partnerships with even more companies in the second half of 2022.
GSK to open a new distribution hub in South America
Although GSK has decided to shorten its name, it has certainly not shortened its international presence.
According to the South American news agency MercoPress, over the next two months, GSK will open one of its three new regional vaccine distribution centers in the capital of Montevideo. The center will seek to handle more than 12 million doses annually in six South American countries — Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The operations will be based at Montevideo’s Carrasco Airport, specifically at the Latin America Cargo City facilities, which serve as an airport duty-free zone. The company aims to optimize costs and reduce delivery times through a hub where it will concentrate the products manufactured in its different plants in Europe.
According to MercoPress, the decision to set up shop in Montevideo has been conveyed to Uruguayan authorities in December of 2021, but GSK but collaborations between the British pharma and Uruguay started back in 2017 when both parties entered into a cooperation agreement for the joint financing of research projects.
According to a statement from the Uruguayan government to MercoPress, the company plans to distribute drugs for the treatment of asthma, COPD, allergic rhinitis, epilepsy, and HIV, among others.
Swiss biotech advances further into IVD and vaccine space
Biosynth Carbosynth, a supplier of materials to the life science industry, has acquired Irish-based Aalto Bio Reagents. The company is a developer and provider of biological materials to the in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) and vaccine development industry.
The acquisition, according to Biosynth, will look to broaden its capabilities and offerings in the IVD space. Aalto’s product portfolio includes an extensive range of proteins, antigens, antibodies, disease state human plasma and biospecimens used by diagnostics and vaccine development companies globally.
“This acquisition marks the next phase of our ambitious journey to become a leading global supplier and partner to the biopharma and diagnostics industries. It allows us to offer an expanded range of products to our IVD customers including complex biochemicals, peptides and biological materials” said Urs Spitz, CEO and president of Biosynth.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.