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Environment

CROs buy European drug company sites

by Ann M. Thayer
October 3, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 39

Contract research organizations continue to expand their businesses by buying up big pharma’s unwanted research and manufacturing sites. France’s Oncodesign will acquire GlaxoSmithKline’s François Hyafil Research Centre in Villebon-sur-Yvette, France. GSK will provide 57 employees and about $40 million over four years to support transfer of the site. China’s Pharmaron, meanwhile, will buy a site in Hoddesdon, England, from an arm of Merck & Co. The site includes a research and process development facility for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and drug formulation. Merck will remain on the Hoddesdon site through a lease on the main office buildings. Earlier this year, U.S.-based Avara Pharmaceutical Services purchased AstraZeneca’s API plant in Avonmouth, England; a UCB API plant in Shannon, Ireland; and an Astellas Pharma formulation and packaging plant in Oklahoma.

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