First announced in November last year, the merger of Patheon and Royal DSM’s pharmaceutical product business was completed earlier this week, with the latter’s biomanufacturing facilities in the Netherlands and Australia falling under the Patheon business of new entity DPx.
Speaking with Biopharma-Reporter.com, Manja Bouman - President and Business Unit Director of biopharm at DPx – said the combination of the two firms was “fully complementary” for the contract biomanufacturing business, adding an integrated offering with no capability crossover.
“On the biologics side the deal is transparent,” she told us, with the two DSM facilities being “a perfect fit with Patheon’s Italian fill/finish facility.”
Some of DSM’s clients had already been using fill/finish services at the Patheon facility before the deal, and whilst DSM had certain capacity at its aseptic site in Greenville, North Carolina – also transferred in the deal – the Italian site is “an obvious immediate fit and [the new company] can streamline customers straight into that,” said Bouman.
Bouman also spoke to us about the recently opened DSM biologics facility in Brisbane, Australia, paid for by the Queensland and Federal Government in order to kick-start the contract biomanufacturing industry in the country.
“We have been in very close contact with the Commonwealth organisations in Australia,” Bouman said, “and they are as excited as we are in bringing CMO/CDMO focused business into the region, with full acceptance and full approval [of the deal]” a fact the Queensland Government confirmed to us last week.
The Government offers incentives to drugmakers to develop and manufacture biologics at the plant, including a 45% cash rebate for biotech firms with revenues of less than $20m per year.
Therefore, Bouman continued, for customers, including a large number of US firms looking to take advantage of the incentives: “We use our process development laboratories in the Netherlands and [now] fill/finish services from Patheon in Italy as only 50% of the work has to be done in Australia.”
Antibody Drug Conjugates
Whilst Bouman talked about DPx’s desire to grow its bioservices further, especially on the analytical side, Biopharma-Reporter.com asked whether the new entity would follow the lead of a number of rival CMOs by investing in antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology or capacity.
“ADCs are an area we are continually investigating,” she said. “Is it a niche area or are they addressing mainstream market needs?” she rhetorically asked, adding if it is an area the company chooses to take further the small molecule and antibody manufacturing capacity and capabilities are already present in the firm.