Patheon focuses on solubility with acquisition of Oregon-based CDMO

By Zachary Brennan contact

- Last updated on GMT

Agere’s presence on the West coast could offer Patheon more penetration to smaller biotech there
Agere’s presence on the West coast could offer Patheon more penetration to smaller biotech there

Related tags: Solubility

For the second time in just over a week, CDMO Patheon has made an acquisition, this time for Agere Pharmaceuticals, a privately held CDMO based in Bend, Oregon, that specializes in improving the bioavailability of drugs.

The Bend facility is expected to serve as a solubility center of excellence and be part of Patheon’s pharmaceutical development services (PDS) operations. All Agere employees are expected to be transferred to Patheon.

Mike Lehmann, president of PDS and EVP of global sales and marketing, told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that the “two [recent]deals are somewhat complementary​” though Irix is more targeted to the North American market, while “Agere is more specific to poorly soluble compounds in particular​.”

The two acquisitions offer Patheon a more complete API offering with stronger development tools, Lehmann said, noting that the market for poorly soluble compounds is “fairly sizeable already and as you look at compounds – some of the poorly soluble ones were lower in priority and now they want to push them through the pipeline​.”

He added that Agere’s presence on the West Coast could offer Patheon more penetration to smaller biotech there though “there’s a lot of overlap​” between the two companies’ clients.

Integrating two acquisitions into Patheon at the same time may be somewhat of a challenge, however, and Lehmann said the company is using outside consultants to help with the integration and that Agere will officially close a little ahead of Irix. “It helps that the two companies are focused on different service areas, Lehmann said.

We see a growing need to offer customers an integrated, agnostic approach to address their development and drug delivery needs. Agere adds a new capability and allows us to provide customers with formulation expertise for solubility enhancement​,” Lehmann said. “With this acquisition, we strengthen our number one pharmaceutical development services position with a solution that integrates scientific acumen and design automation​.”

In the last year, Patheon has significantly expanded its capabilities and capacity through several acquisitions, including the addition of a large-scale facility in Greenville, N.C., the merger with DSM​ and the purchase of Gallus Biopharmaceuticals​.

Patheon now offers a range of scientific and preformulation services to characterize drug substances, develop and implement lab methodologies, and generate data to enable investigational new drug filings.

Marshall Crew, president and CEO of Agere, added: “Our team remains committed to the organization and is focused on implementing a strategy that will help customers address complex solubility issues at any stage of the development lifecycle​.”

Both companies also claim to have excellent track records with regulatory authorities. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory review.

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