Sterling Pharma completes acquisition of Novartis manufacturing plant in Ireland
The UK-based contract manufacturer Sterling Pharma Solutions has completed a purchase that will give it a manufacturing presence on the other side of the Irish Sea.
Sterling closed its acquisition of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant in the southern Irish village of Ringaskiddy, Ireland, that once belonged to the Swiss pharma Novartis. The deal, announced in March of last year, will not only give the British CDMO more capacity to produce APIs, but also includes a supply agreement with Novartis to continue to produce ingredients for cardiovascular, immunology and oncology medicines.
Andrew Henderson, the chief integration officer at Sterling, said in an email to Endpoints News that along with the Novartis production, Sterling will also be looking to use the additional capacity and build a new pipeline of contract development and manufacturing work.
While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, Henderson told Endpoints that the site is a “beneficial location,” and will complement its network of manufacturing sites within the UK and the US. Henderson added that 350 Novartis employees have joined Sterling at the facility.
The site sits on 111 acres and is located near the city of Cork. It includes several production buildings, with a total capacity of 175 cubic meters. The site also includes a development and support building with 14 development and analytical labs.
“The Ringaskiddy site has clear synergies with Sterling’s other manufacturing facilities, and we have spent the last nine months working closely with staff to ensure a smooth integration into our global network to provide small molecule API development and manufacturing services for customers across the world in a range of therapeutic areas. Strategically, the acquisition adds a European hub to our network, and not only expands our total capacity and workforce of highly skilled experts but adds new capabilities in peptide manufacturing and large-scale chromatography,” Sterling CEO Kevin Cook said in a statement.
Sterling has been on a bit of an expansion drive over the past few years. In 2021, it acquired ADC Bio, a company that specializes in antibody drug conjugates, snapping up ADC’s manufacturing facility in Wales, which was rebranded to become part of the Sterling network.
The Ringaskiddy facility is not the only one where Novartis is reorganizing on the Emerald Isle. In October, it revealed plans to cut around 400 jobs at its Dublin campus by the end of 2024. The cuts at the Dublin facility are part of a major restructuring that Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan initiated back in April, aimed at cutting $1 billion in costs and letting go of some key execs, while combining the pharmaceutical and oncology units under one roof.