WuXi STA snaps up Bristol Myers Squibb facility, plants feet in European CDMO marketplace
A WuXi AppTech spinoff will finally have a European facility under its belt after buying up a Bristol Myers Squibb site, the company announced Tuesday.
WuXi STA, which launched as a CDMO in 2003, will acquire Bristol Myers Squibb’s site in Couvet, Switzerland that specializes in commercial-scale production of various capsules and tablet dosage forms. The company said in a press release it will both enhance and grow its manufacturing capacities through a “world-class” facility.
“We are pleased to add the Couvet manufacturing facility to our growing global manufacturing site network and look forward to working with the talented team who share our focus on excellence and a patient-centered approach,” WuXi STA CEO Minzhang Chen said in a statement. “The acquisition will allow WuXi STA to better serve European markets and support our global customers to deliver innovative medicines and treatments to patients around the world.”
Bristol Myers Squibb EVP Lou Schmukler said in a statement that he believed WuXi STA would be successful in taking over the Couvet facility, but that the transfer was also important for his company’s future in the European marketplace.
“This is an important step in the ongoing evolution of our manufacturing network to support our product portfolio,” he said. “Switzerland remains an important strategic location for Bristol Myers Squibb, and we look forward to maintaining a strong presence in the Neuchâtel area.”
The Couvet site isn’t the only one Bristol Myers Squibb has unloaded in recent years. In the summer of 2019, the company sold its Anagni, Italy facility, and the 700+ employees who worked there at the time, to Catalent for an undisclosed amount.
The companies anticipate completing the transaction by Q2 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other closing conditions—one of which is that the Couvet facility will continue operating under the Bristol Myers Squibb name until the i’s are crossed and the t’s are dotted. WuXi STA will acquire the site’s operations and assets, including the plant, equipment, and an unspecified number of employees.
Financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed Tuesday.
The foray into Europe is one of the bigger moves WuXi STA has made of late. Its last one came exactly 13 months ago when the company announced the opening of a large-scale oligonucleotide active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facility in Changzhou, China. That milestone, the company said at the time, established the ability to manufacture those APIs from preclinical to commercial through a single comprehensive platform.