The deal announced this morning will see the Sweden-headquartered contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) pay €10.6m ($13.2m) for Flamel’s development and manufacturing facility in Pessac, France, and a further €10.5m to acquire a 2.3% stake in the company.
Speaking with Outsourcing-Pharma, Recipharm’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Development Mark Quick described the collaboration as a “truly strategic partnership,” with Recipharm bringing its manufacturing expertise, network and client base to Flamel, while gaining access to new drug delivery technologies and a facility near to Bordeaux.
With this deal, “Flamel is removed from the hassle of manufacturing but still has access to the Pessac plant,” he told us, adding Recipharm stands to gain “coating technologies and access to the French and Southern European markets.”
The agreement is expected to go through by the end of the year and once closed Recipharm will take over all ongoing Flamel business currently being carried out at the plant, including the manufacture of Flamel’s pipeline and micropump-based microparticles for Coreg CR (carvedilol phosphate), a congestive heart failure marketed by GlaxoSmithKline in the US.
However, Flamel’s lead drug Bloxiverz (neostigmine methylsulfate) – approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013 – is a sterile product made at a different facility and Quick said Recipharm would not be taking over its manufacture.
Drug delivery capability
Flamel’s technical capabilities include spray granulation and spray coating, both of which will be new service offerings for Recipharm, although the IP rights have not been acquired from Flamel.
Therefore to allow its clients to access these technology platforms Recipharm is going to have to enter a separate agreement with Flamel, which would receive royalty-based and milestone payments on such products, but Quick said this would unlikely be a problem as this is Flamel’s current business model.
“We’ve had requests so often for these drug delivery capabilities and now are business development guys will be pleased we can offer such things,” Quick added.
Service and investment deals like this one are not totally unique in the CDMO sector, but following its IPO in June Recipharm – unlike many other contract manufacturers – is “financially robust” and would take any opportunities to invest in its customers if they are deemed a strategic fit.
In August, the CDMO won a contract to lyophilise and fill/finish Isofol Medical’s folate-based biomodulator product Modufolin while simultaneously investing SEK 8m ($1.2m) into the company.
The company told this publication at the time that while such a strategy is not the main growth driver going forward, it did offer Recipharm “a competitive advantage” in the CDMO space.