The former Novartis manufacturing facility in Ringaskiddy, Ireland is now officially owned by Sterling Pharma.

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.

Am­gen lays off about 300 work­ers, cit­ing 'in­dus­try head­wind­s'

Amgen has laid off about 300 employees, a company spokesperson confirmed to Endpoints News via email Sunday night.

Employees posted to LinkedIn in recent days about layoffs hitting Amgen last week. The Thousand Oaks, CA-based biopharma, which employs about 24,000 people, said the reduction “mainly” impacted US-based workers on its commercial team.

Drug developers of all sizes, including small upstarts and pharma giants, have let employees go in recent months as the biopharma market drags through a quarters-long winter doldrum.

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Bob Bradway, Amgen CEO (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

Am­gen launch­es the first US Hu­mi­ra biosim­i­lar at two dif­fer­ent list prices

The bizarre dynamics of the US prescription drug market were on full display once again this morning as Amgen announced that it would launch the first US biosimilar for Humira, the best-selling drug of all time, at two completely different list prices.

One price for Amgen’s Amjevita (adalimumab-atto) will be 55% below the current Humira list price, which is about $84,000 per year, and another at a list price 5% below the current Humira list price, but presumably (pharma companies don’t disclose rebates) with high rebates to attract PBMs and payers.

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New York City in­vests $20M in­to biotech 'in­no­va­tion space' at the Brook­lyn Navy Yard

New York City is investing $20 million in biotech this year in the form of a 50,000-square-foot “innovation space” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, complete with offices, research laboratories and events and programming space to grow biotech startups and companies.

Mayor Eric Adams said during his State of The City Address last Thursday that there will be an “emphasis” on making more opportunities for women and people of color to further diversify the industry. The City first reported the news.

Dirk Thye, Quince Therapeutics CEO

Af­ter piv­ot­ing from Alzheimer's to bone con­di­tions, biotech piv­ots again — and halves its head­count

When troubled public biotech Cortexyme bought a private startup named Novosteo and handed the keys to its executive team, the company — which changed its name to Quince Therapeutics — said it would shift its focus from an unorthodox Alzheimer’s approach to Novosteo’s bone-targeting drug platform.

Less than a year later, Quince is pivoting again.

The biotech has decided to out-license its bone-targeting drug platform and its lead drug, NOV004, and instead look for clinical-stage programs to in-license or acquire, according to a press release.

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Boehringer In­gel­heim touts pre­ven­tion re­sults in rarest form of pso­ri­a­sis

Boehringer Ingelheim uncorked some positive results suggesting that Spevigo can help prevent flare-ups in patients with a severe form of psoriasis, months after the drug was approved to treat existing flares.

Spevigo, an IL-36R antibody also known as spesolimab, met its primary and a key secondary endpoint in the Phase IIb EFFISAYIL 2 trial in patients with generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP), Boehringer announced on Monday. While the company is keeping the hard numbers under wraps until later this year, it said in a news release that it anticipates sharing the results with regulators.

As­traZeneca, No­vo Nordisk and Sanofi score 340B-re­lat­ed ap­peals court win over HHS

AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi won an appeals court win on Monday, as the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found that the companies cannot be forced to provide 340B-discounted drugs purchased by hospitals from an unlimited number of community and specialty pharmacies.

“Legal duties do not spring from silence,” the decision says as the court makes clear that the federal government’s interpretation of the “supposed requirement” that the 340B program compels drugmakers to supply their discounted drugs to an unlimited number of contract pharmacies is not correct, noting:

Ap­peals court toss­es J&J's con­tro­ver­sial 'Texas two-step' bank­rupt­cy case

A US appeals court has ruled against Johnson & Johnson’s use of bankruptcy to deal with mounting talc lawsuits, deciding that doing so would “create a legal blind spot.”

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a previous bankruptcy court decision on Monday, calling for the dismissal of a Chapter 11 filing by J&J’s subsidiary LTL Management.

Faced with more than 38,000 lawsuits alleging its talc-based products caused cancer, J&J spun its talc liabilities into a separate company called LTL Management back in October 2021 and filed for bankruptcy, a controversial move colloquially referred to as a “Texas two-step” bankruptcy. Claimants argued that the strategy is a misuse of the US bankruptcy code — and on Monday, a panel of judges agreed.

Richard Gonzalez, AbbVie CEO (Chris Kleponis/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Up­dat­ed: $100B+ in sav­ings? Why the in­com­ing Hu­mi­ra biosim­i­lars will take time to catch on

The 20-year reign of AbbVie’s best-selling biologic of all time — the autoimmune disease biologic Humira (adalimumab) that has brought in upwards of $200 billion during its monopoly — is coming to an end tomorrow with the launch of Amgen’s biosimilar Amjevita.

The launch comes more than four years after Europe saw the exact same competition, leading to steep discounts in price, higher uptake, and big cost savings across the board.

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A new Genentech 'MS Visibility' campaign video features Black women living with or connected to MS talking about their experiences. (Genentech)

Roche’s Genen­tech de­buts next it­er­a­tion of MS cam­paign, high­lights ex­pe­ri­ences in Black com­mu­ni­ty

Roche’s Genentech is tackling diversity in multiple sclerosis again, this time with a focus on the Black community. Its “MS Visibility” effort, debuted in 2021, is now adding to the awareness campaign with new work that includes a set of videos featuring discussions among Black women and healthcare professionals.

“They’re incredibly inspiring Black women living with or connected to MS and they’re having just honest conversation about their experience and the unique barriers that their community faces,” said Jennifer Kim, head of neuroimmunology at Genentech marketing.

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