ICIG Will Acquire Roche Peptide Plant | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: August 16, 2011

ICIG Will Acquire Roche Peptide Plant

Pharmaceutical Chemicals: Purchase continues acquisition spree for private equity firm
Department: ACS News
Keywords: pharmaceutical chemicals, contract manufacturing
An aerial view of the Roche Colorado site in Boulder.
An aerial view of the Roche Colorado site in Boulder.

Continuing to snap up the drug industry’s unwanted pharmaceutical chemical plants, International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG) has agreed to acquire Roche’s peptide production facility in Boulder, Colo.

ICIG isn’t disclosing the purchase price. The private equity firm says it will rename the site Corden Pharma Colorado and run it as part of its Corden Pharma family of companies. Under the deal, Corden Pharma Colorado will supply Roche with a number of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) currently made in Boulder.

“Selling the Boulder site to ICIG will secure a reliable supplier to meet Roche’s demand for commercial-scale peptides and other medicinal compounds,” says Georg Wiebecke, head of chemical manufacturing for Roche. The plant currently has a workforce of about 265 employees.

Roche put the Boulder plant up for sale last November in a restructuring move. The facility is known in the pharmaceutical chemical industry for making the active ingredient in the HIV medication Fuzeon, a 36-amino-acid molecule that is one of the few peptide drugs to be manufactured at the ton scale. Wolfgang Niedermaier, president of Corden Pharma, says his firm will build on the site’s unique capabilities by attracting API production contracts from other firms.

Launched in 2004, Europe-based ICIG has made a business of acquiring unwanted facilities from large chemical and pharmaceutical companies. In February, for example, it agreed to buy Genzyme’s pharmaceutical intermediates business, which includes a manufacturing facility in Liestal, Switzerland. ICIG says it has purchased a total of 16 facilities in Europe and the U.S., all of which have origins in major chemical and drug firms. Its annual sales are close to $1 billion.

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