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DSM to honour Australian biologics plant contract post-Patheon merger

By Dan Stanton , 07-Mar-2014
Last updated on 07-Mar-2014 at 15:39 GMT

Operations will continue and may even be enhanced at DSM’s Australian taxpayer-funded biologics plant following a merger with Patheon, the Queensland Government says.

Whilst Royal DSM’s biologics wing offered its contract manufacturing expertise to the project, the 70,000sq ft mammalian cell culture facility in Brisbane - which opened last June – was funded entirely by the Queensland State Government and Commonwealth of Australia in order to spur local biomanufacturing.

However, with the new plant confirmed to form part of Patheon owner JLL’s encroaching DSM takeover , we asked the Queensland Government how the collaboration would be affected.

“DSM Biologics are contracted to operate the facility under a long-term lease and all obligations will be honoured by the new merged entity,” Alex Bernard, a spokesperson from the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts told Biopharma-Reporter.com

Though acknowledging the merger between DSM Biologics and Patheon has not yet been finalised, she said the Government did not believe there will be any adverse effect on the biologics plant.

Moreover “the merger could potentially place greater focus on contract manufacturing operations and provide the opportunity for additional resources,” she told us, adding “the new entity will remain as a long-term tenant of the state-owned facility.

“Current operations will continue, possibly just under a different brand name.”

Patheon say ‘Yes’

And that new entity became one step closer to becoming a reality yesterday, with Patheon overwhelming 99% of shareholders voting ‘yes’ to the proposed plan to combine the two firms.

The completion of the deal to form the new company is expected to close on Tuesday, subject to receipt of a Final Order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to approve the arrangement.

Though currently known as ‘Newco,’ the firm - expected to become the world’s second largest contract manufacturer -  will reveal its new name once the deal is completed, DSM spokesman Herman Betten told Biopharma-Reporter.com in January .