NextPharma moves forward with funds and acquisition

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Contract manufacturing Pharmacology

British contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) NextPharma
Technologies has announced a €30m fundraising round and the
acquisition of Bioserv, another CMO based in the US.

The company said that the majority of the funds raised - €16m - will be invested in expanding the company's capabilities in injectable cytotoxic medicines manufacturing.

The investment will more than double the capacity of its facility in Braine L'Alleud, Belgium which will be ready to offer this type of service to customers in North America, Europe and Japan in 2009.

This cash injection comes on the heels of the recent development of a sterile product development centre at the Belgian site where the company plans to manufacture clinical supplies of cytotoxic and biologic drugs, and which should be up and running in September.

Furthermore, NextPharma has agreed to acquire Californian firm Bioserv to boost its existing sterile manufacturing capabilities in Belgium with the expansion of its contract manufacturing business to North America.

"The acquisition of Bioserv will create a platform to grow our sterile business in the US," said Bill Wedlake, NextPharma CEO.

Although, financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, NextPharma could have bagged itself an attractive deal as Bioserv provides a range of services including aseptic and non-aseptic bulk formulation, filtration, filling and lyophilisation services as well as packaging, labelling, validation, and cold chain storage.

Over the last few years, contract manufacturing has grown and drug companies are now much more open to outsourcing injectables.

Indeed, the increasing influx of biopharmaceuticals, especially oncology products and sterile injectables, has created many opportunities for specialised manufacturing technologies that are usually not available with biopharmaceutical companies.

Compared to solid dose contract manufacturing, the injectables market is a lot less competitive because there are only a few players with the capabilities and expertise required to serve big pharma and biotech clients.

Lyophilisation, in particular, is a process that is in growing demand in the biopharmaceuticals segment, as it requires a high degree of automation, and CMOs are focusing on tapping this large demand for such specialised niche technologies.

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