West buys Plastef’s delivery business

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hypodermic needle, Injection

US contract manufacturer West Pharmaceutical Services has purchased French device firm Plastef Investissements’ drug delivery business, adding the eris safety syringe system to its offering.

John Paproski, West’s VP of innovation, told in-PharmaTechnologist that the deal gives “West a viable safety-syringe offering to the fixed-needle segment of the prefilled syringe market.​”

He explained that prefilled syringes come in two basic types: luer-locks to which the delivery needle is added at the point of use; and staked syringes where the needle is attached during manufacture.

West already makes a technology called NovaGuard that works with the luer-lock format and now, through the Plastef deal, has added the staked syringe-compatible eris safety needle to its product range.

Paproski said the two technologies are a good match as both are designed to protect against injury “upon withdrawal of the needle from the injection site without any further thought or effort by the care giver or patient​.

We believe that the demand for safer prefilled syringes will continue to expand due to growing concern for healthcare worker and patient safety and due to the cost savings that may be achieved by reducing needle-stick injuries.”

This forecast fits with the predictions of a Freedonia report released last month. In “World Pharmaceutical Packaging to 2013​” the authors suggested that demand for primary packaging will grow 6 per cent annually over the next few years.

Freedonia also predicted that, within the $38bn (€27bn) primary packaging sector, prefillable syringes will provide some of the fastest growth opportunities due to both advances in delivery technology and the growth of the biopharmaceuticals market.

Facility acquisition

If the predictions are correct, West’s deal with Plastef seems well timed, particularly given that it has also purchased the firm’s manufacturing facility in Le Vaudreuil, Northern France.

Paproski said that the plant, which employs 75 people, will be further expanded and used to support the “steady and growing demand for safety syringes and other drug delivery products."

While financial terms of the purchase have not been released, West estimates the acquisition will increase its revenue by as much as $7m (€5m) over the next six months, although this will not materially affect its 2009 forecast.

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