Meldex moves in Germany, inks new deal

By Anna Lewcock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Company Over-the-counter drug

Growing demand has prompted tableting specialist Meldex
International, formerly BioProgress, to launch a new sales and
distribution hub in Germany, with the UK firm also announcing a new
manufacturing contract for its XGel film.

Meldex has launched the German arm of its Dexo sales and marketing division, building on the resources gained following the acquisition of the over-the-counter (OTC) product specialist Melbrosin earlier this year.

The acquisition, for around €35m, helped double the company's turnover and provided critical mass for Meldex' XGel enabled products in Germany - "the EU's most important market," according to the company - Austria, Italy, Canada, Eastern Europe and South America.

Demand for the Meldex' OTC products exceeded demand, and highlighted the need to add to the firm's 'geographical infrastructure' as quickly as possible.

The company is hoping to make use of Melbrosin's existing supply and distribution relationships in Germany, one of the largest OTC and prescription pharmaceutical markets in Europe according to Meldex, to help meet the growing demand for its products.

On top of this, the company also announced that it has inked a deal with a 'large' mystery third party, and has already kicked off a long-term manufacturing agreement for its XGel film.

XGel is the basis of Meldex' intellectual property and is used in all the firm's film systems and ingestible dosage delivery technologies.

It is non-animal derived, suitable for vegetarians and has been certified as kosher and halal.

It also provides cost-savings through the company's continuous manufacturing processes, and can be taste-masked, coloured, layered and is capable of being enteric and holding active ingredients, says the company.

While Meldex isn't letting on who its new partner could be, the company has forecast annual revenues in the region of $5-$6m from the deal, and maintains that the contract is " well within" the capabilities of the group's manufacturing capacity.

BioTec Films, based in Florida in the US, is Meldex' wholly owned subsidiary responsible for producing the specialty films used in the UK firm's products and those of its partners.

Meldex has a whole series of products and processes based on the XGel film, including its latest offering, TabWrap - a high speed process for wrapping coated tablets.

The first product based on the TabWrap technology is due to be launched by the new German sales arm by the end of this year, one of a series of analgesic formulations that the company believes has the potential to generate over $100m (€70.5m).

Meldex has been moving forward in leaps and bounds over the last year or two, expanding operations and in 2006 nudging into profit for the first time in the company's history.

Only last month the firm announced it had landed a commercialisation partner for its TabWrap technology in the form of Barr-Pliva, and had re-branded itself, discarding its former 'BioProgress' label.

Share prices spiked up on yesterday's news, but have since settled again.

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