Situated in Oregon, US, Bend’s facilities will benefit from $20m (€15m) of investment from parent company Capsugel as part of an expansion in its SDD services and GMP set to be completed mid-2015.
“While there are several companies in the industry with standalone development or manufacturing,” CEO Rod Ray told Outsourcing-pharma.com, Bend has “sensed the need for a single company to provide customers with an integrated set of capabilities spanning early development, clinical manufacturing, commercial manufacturing, and deep IP and experience.”
This need, Ray continued, has been on the up since Bend ended its exclusive drug delivery development partnership with Pfizer in 2008, with many of the SDD formulation projects Bend has undertaken for its clients’ compounds in the last few years “nearing late stage clinical development and will soon require commercial manufacturing capacity.”
The facility expansion will see new commercial lines added as well as two new high-capacity pharmaceutical spray dryers (PSD) spray dryer process trains, used for scale-up, quality-by-design studies (QbD), and the production of appropriate toxicology study supplies.
We asked Ray if such expansion could have happened without the takeover of Bend last month by Capsugel.
“Bend Research required external capital to trigger this investment and expansion, and had been seeking the most appropriate source or partner,” he said, and though the firm evaluated a number of alternatives including private equity and joint ventures, “Capsugel was the best fit.”
He said: “While the investment may have happened without Capsugel’s acquisition, the speed and commitment behind this investment, as well as the other synergies, are quite unique to our transaction with Capsugel.”
The integration of Bend into Capsugel’s Dosage Form Solutions (DFS) business unit, is progressing swiftly with this investment coming just days after technology transfer began between the two.
With the acquisition of Bend and drug delivery firm Encap back in March, Amit Patel, Sr. VP & President of Capsugel’s DFS unit, told this publication the business unit “now has enhanced strategic clarity and significant business momentum,” hinting at further purchases.
“Capsugel’s goal is to continue this growth both organically, and inorganically if the right opportunities present themselves,” he said.
“What is clear is that we have the industry leading breadth and depth of capabilities available to help customers solve their most pressing product development challenges, particularly in areas such as bioavailability enhancement and modified release, and in emerging areas such as inhalation, abuse deterrence, and biotherapeutic processing and formulation.”