Aesica buys UCB plants and signs long-term supply deal

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Contract manufacturing organisation Pharmacology

Aesica has bought three manufacturing sites from UCB, making its first foray into continental Europe and more than doubling its production capacity.

The acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, is accompanied by the creation of a strategic partnership between the UK-based contract active pharmaceutical ingredient maker (API) and the Belgian biotech.

Aesica said the three plants, in Monheim and Zwickau in Germany and Pianezza, Italy, will provide a “strong platform​” from which to seek more business in Europe when the deal is completed early next year.

The deal is the latest in a number of expansions the contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) has made in recent months, beginning in June​ when it acquired fellow UK-based API maker R5 pharmaceuticals.

The following month​ Aesica unveiled plans to build a will build a “high containment​” manufacturing plant to expand its high potency drug formulation capabilities.

The £3m ($4.6m) facility, at the UK contract manufacturing organisation’s (CMO​) site in Queenborough, Kent, will produce, package and ship both liquid and solid dosage forms when fully operational in summer 2011.

Global expansion

The UCB acquisition also fits with Aesica’s wider global expansion plan and effort to position itself as a leading global supplier, particularly in the US market.

Speaking to in-PharmaTechnologist last February​ Adam Sims, Aesica commercial director, said the firm’s aim was to generate some 50 per cent of its revenue in the US in the next few years, up from the 30 per cent it made there at the time

Aesica subsequently set up units in New Jersey and San Diego, boosting the proportion of revenue it generates in the country.

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