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West Coast Fine Chemicals

Saltigo and SAFC buy, expand facilities in California and Washington state

by Rick Mullin
January 21, 2008 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 86, Issue 3

Saltigo, the custom chemicals business of Germany's Lanxess, is establishing its first U.S. laboratories for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) with the acquisition of Icos' Redmond, Wash., facility.

Saltigo will use the site for pharmaceutical chemical research and to manufacture APIs for clinical trials up to and including Phase IIa, which focuses on assessing dosage requirements. As many as 25 employees will initially be based there, the firm says.

Icos was acquired by Eli Lilly & Co. in 2006. In addition to divesting the Redmond site, Icos recently sold its biologics development and manufacturing operation in Bothell, Wash., to the firm CMC Biopharmaceuticals.

A Saltigo official says his firm specifically targeted the West Coast because of the prevalence of biopharmaceutical start-ups there. The German company has, for example, conducted contract manufacturing for Santa Clara, Calif.-based Ilypsa, which was purchased last year by Amgen.

Meanwhile, Sigma-Aldrich's SAFC fine chemicals business has announced plans for a $12 million expansion of its new biologics facility in Carlsbad, Calif. The company will add two viral product manufacturing suites.

Due to be complete in the second half of 2009, the project will expand the 44,000-sq-ft site by 8,000 sq ft. The project will enable production of 100-L batches in stirred-tank bioreactors and 1,000-L batches in disposable reactors. SAFC gained the Carlsbad facility with its acquisition last year of Molecular Medicine Bioservices, which produces viral vaccines and gene therapies.

"This expansion will increase our Carlsbad site capabilities from clinical-scale to commercial-scale manufacturing," says David Feldker, SAFC Pharma's vice president of marketing and U.S. operations.


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