Nektar abandons UK operations

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supercritical fluid Pharmacology

Nektar Therapeutics has closed its processing plant in Bradford, UK
as it shifts its focus to developing its own drug products using
its own drug delivery technology.

In doing so, the US company will no longer run any of its operations from the UK.

The plant has until now been the home of the company's Supercritical Fluid Technology, which uses a novel particle engineering process that yields consistent powder particles in terms of size, shape and morphology, that can be used in tablets, capsules, and inhalation systems.

The technology has a range of applications, primarily for small molecules, including taste masking and selection of stable solid-state forms that can affect both the rate and extent of absorption of certain drugs, however, Nektar is now transitioning from being a technology development company to a drug development company and believes it has now outgrown this particular technology.

"We don't believe this technology will be of use for products Nektar plans to develop itself and consequently it is not a fit for our new strategy,"​ said Robert Chess, chairman, and acting president and CEO of Nektar.

The company had previously announced in February that its UK site was deemed to be significantly impaired, which resulted in a write off, reported as part of the company's 2005 net loss.

"As we begin focusing on achieving profitability, it is important that we channel our resources into those businesses that will drive future growth,"​ said Chess.

"To this end, disposing of our supercritical fluid processing technology and closing down the Bradford operation represents a significant first step in aligning our spending with those activities that will drive our revenue in the near-term."

Despite having no use for the technology itself, Nektar said it "still believes that its supercritical fluid processing is a promising technology to manufacture powdered drugs."

The firm is now shopping around for a suitable buyer for the whole lot - the Supercritical Fluid Technology, the processing equipment and the plant itself, a company spokesperson told

"This technology would ideally benefit a large pharmaceutical company who is looking for a way to improve its current supercritical fluid process,"​ said the spokesperson.

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