CPhI Festival of Pharma

Hovione to boost output of COVID-19 treatment excipient

By Jenni Spinner contact

- Last updated on GMT

(mysteryshot/iStock via Getty Images Plus)
(mysteryshot/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Related tags: Excipients, Hovione, Gilead, COVID-19, Coronavirus, CPhI Worldwide

The CPhI Festival of Pharma exhibitor will work with Ligand to increase output of Captisol, a key ingredient in Gilead’s Veklury COVID-19 treatment

Hovione has announced it will partner with Ligand to help increase production output of Captisol, a product used in formulation of Gilead’s COVID-19 treatment Veklury (remdesivir). Ligand’s Captisol is a chemically modified cyclodextrin designed to improve the solubility and stability of drugs; Hovione is the sole producer of the excipient.

Jean-Luc Herbeaux, Hovione’s chief operating officer, said the company will contribute for the increased demand for Veklury by ramping up production. Hovione shortly will produce in one month the quantity it had been producing over the course of a year.

This sudden spike in demand has required unique mobilization efforts across the Hovione network to secure additional raw material supply, execute major capital expenditure projects at our sites, maximize operational efficiency, hire additional talent  and identify external partners to expand our overall capacity,​” Herbeaux said. “The pharmaceutical supply chain is working together in an unprecedented fashion to treat patients and save lives​.”

Matt Foehr, president and chief operating officer of Ligand, said the two companies have partnered together for a long time.

[Hovione’s] excellent customer service, global commitment to quality and high pharmaceutical standards make them an ideal partner for Captisol, a critical component for a number of life-saving medicines​,” Foehr commented. “We commend them for responsibly and efficiently partnering with Ligand to manage the scale up and expansion of their operations to contribute to global health during the pandemic​.”

On exhibit at CPhI Festival of Pharma

Ana Barbado, Hovione’s external communication specialist, shared with Outsourcing-Pharma a preview of the topics and technology the company plans to share with CPhI Festival of Pharma participants. She told us the company will promote various areas of expertise:

  • Integrated contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) expertise
  • Spray drying
  • Inhalation solutions
  • Security of supply

Hovione also will share brochures from its knowledge center:

  • One-minute reading brochures highlighting services
  • More detailed brochures on a range of topics

Participants also will be able to access recent Hovione webinars:

  • PRIME: A Knowledge-based Assessment Tool to Classify Pharmaceutical Processes
  • Practical Management of Pharmaceutical Impurities: challenges and control strategies
  • Series ASD 1 | Amorphous Solid Dispersions by Spray drying - From bench to market
  • Series ASD 2 | The Analytical Science of ASD

Additionally, Barbado said, the company will offer video tours of its facilities, and its experts will be available for virtual visits.


The virtual CPhI Festival of Pharma is scheduled October 5-9 and October 12-16. For more information about the sessions, exhibits and other programming, visit bit.ly/345ksGE.

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