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Patheon acquires a Roche facility

South Carolina plant will beef up pharmaceutical service firm’s chemical side

by Rick Mullin
December 5, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 48

Credit: Business Wire
Roche’s Florence, S.C., site supports solid-state chemistry and micronization. Patheon plans to add spray drying.
A photo of a contemporary manufacturing building replete with a wintergarden atrium and Swiss flag.
Credit: Business Wire
Roche’s Florence, S.C., site supports solid-state chemistry and micronization. Patheon plans to add spray drying.

A year ago, Roche announced it would sell three plants in Europe and one in the U.S. Last week, the drugmaker said it has a buyer for the one in the U.S. The pharmaceutical services company Patheon has agreed to acquire Roche’s active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) facility in Florence, S.C. Patheon will pay “an immaterial sum” and secure a multiyear agreement to supply Roche.

The deal follows the service firm’s 2015 acquisition of API manufacturer Irix Pharmaceuticals, which also has a site in Florence as well as one in Greenville, S.C. Irix was founded in 1996 by two former Roche executives.

Originally focused on final dosage and finished drug services, Patheon has been building out the API part of its business since acquiring the drug chemicals division of DSM in 2014. The 28,000-m2 facility in Florence brings capacity for highly potent APIs plus capabilities for solid-state chemistry and micronization. Reaction vessels range in size from 50 to 11,000 L. The company plans to add spray drying at the site.

“The company will benefit from the additional North American API capacity and adds a state-of-the-art facility with approximately 200 scientific and manufacturing professionals,” says Patheon CEO James Mullen.

Roche says the deal should be completed by February. The firm continues its effort to divest sites in Leganés, Spain, and Segrate, Italy, according to spokesperson Anja von Treskow. She says Roche is in the process of ramping down production at its site in Clarecastle, Ireland.

Meanwhile, the drug company is spending about $300 million on a new manufacturing site in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, that will support the low-volume, high-complexity chemistry required for emerging therapies.



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