Patheon: Irix deal about US and Canadian customer demand for local APIs; all staff to be retained

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Due diligence

Irix Pharmaceutical facility in Greenvill to be acquired by Patheon in takeover deal
Irix Pharmaceutical facility in Greenvill to be acquired by Patheon in takeover deal
Irix Pharmaceuticals will cater for North American customers’ desire for local supply according to Patheon, which says it plans to retain the API firm’s 180 staff.

The DPx contracting unit announced its plan to buy South Carolina-based drug ingredients firm Irix last night​. Lukas Utiger, president of drug substances at Patheon, told us the deal fits with customer demand for speed and supply chain simplicity.

Almost 70 percent of this [Patheon's small and mid-sized biotech] customer base is in the US and Canada and prefer local service​” Utiger explained, adding that buying Irix “also clearly defines a differentiation strategy to Asian players.”

The deal will also simplify supply lines. Utiger told us that during the due diligence review the contractor discovered “a substantial amount of API’s produced at Irix are formulated in Patheon facilities.”

Irix’ focus is on hard-to-manufacture drug ingredients, which was another driver for takeover Utiger said.

Besides general synthetic know how, Irix delivers capabilities in the area of controlled substances, highly- active compounds and cryogenic capabilities, in addition to specific technology areas like prostaglandins or Vitamin D derivatives​.”

This is good news for Irix staff as – according to Utiger – “The acquisition has almost no synergies. Since we want to expand Phase I & II process development services and manufacturing, we will keep all employees​.”

Post DPx investments and takeovers

The takeover is expected to complete in the next 60 days, pending customary regulatory approvals and will include both Irix’s small-scale manufacturing facility in Florence, South Carolina and its large scale site in neighbouring Greenville to Patheon’s network.

Irix also complements Patheon’s existing high potency API capacity in the UK, which includes a site in Milton Park that was earmarked for a £600,000 ($1m) investment in January 2014​ in response to “increasing demand.”

The Irix deal is also Patheon’s second acquisition since it became a unit of DPx holding in 2014. In August​, it bought Gallus Biopharmacuticals in an agreement that included two biologics manufacturing facilities in the US.

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