Recipharm buys Sanofi CMO site in UK, signs long-term supply deal

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

Getty/Sam Edwards
Getty/Sam Edwards
Sanofi is handing off its Holmes Chapel facility and all existing contract manufacturing agreements to CDMO Recipharm.

According to the transfer agreement, contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Recipharm will pay Sanofi £45m ($60m) – with a potential additional £9m based on ‘superior business performance’ – for the Holmes Chapel manufacturing facility in Northern England, UK.

The inhalation drug facility brings “Recipharm an ideal opportunity to accelerate its offering to customers with access to novel respiratory products. Treatments for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are growing at a fast rate and we see many opportunities,” ​said Recipharm CEO Thomas Eldered in a statement​.

According to Sanofi, the CDMO will take over existing manufacturing contracts for drugs made on-site, and a long-term manufacturing agreement between the firms will see Recipharm make key products for Sanofi.

The decision to sell was prompted by a ‘strategic study’ to determine the best outcome for the site and its 450 employees – all of which will transfer to Recipharm.

“As a specialist pharmaceutical contract manufacturing company, [Recipharm] will have greater opportunities to utilise the technologies and capabilities on site and bring in volumes from a variety of clients, and therefore will provide the best future for the site and for employees,” ​a Sanofi spokesperson told us.

The plant supports the manufacture of metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) and nasal sprays, Recipharm’s vice president of corporate development Mark Quick told us. “Sanofi currently makes Flutiform for Vectura at the facility, as well as a number of inhalation drugs for other clients, including Sanofi,” ​he said.

The Holmes Chapel site is the only location to manufacture Nasacort – an over-the-counter nasal allergy spray sold around the world – also makes three Sanofi small-volume aerosol products.

The acquisition transaction, which is expected to close in Q4 2018, marks Recipharm’s latest investment in manufacturing capabilities. In September last year​, the CDMO announced plans to buy Roche’s solid dose facility in Leganés, Spain. In January 2018​ the firm bought the remaining stake in Indian injectables firm Nitin Lifesciences, and two months later​ added an eighth Blow-Fill-Seal filling and packaging line to its facility in Kayserberg, France.

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