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ICIG takes Roche Colorado in bid to flex contract peptide manufacturing muscle

By Natalie Morrison , 08-Aug-2011
Last updated on 08-Aug-2011 at 15:32 GMT

International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG) will take over Roche’s Colorado API plant in a bid to gain footing in the peptide manufacturing industry.

The acquisition of the site in Boulder comes as part of the group’s purchase of Roche Colorado Corp.

Now Frankfurt-based industrial holding company ICIG will operate the plant as part of its GMP (good manufacturing practice) fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals arm of the business Corden Pharma, with the new name Corden Pharma Colorado.

Under the deal ICIG will continue to supply Roche with a number of APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) that are currently produced at the facility, including HIV/AIDs therapeutics Fuzeon (Enfuvirtide), Cytovene (Ganciclovir) and Valcyte (Valganciclovir Hydrochloride).

And Swiss drug production company Roche says that no changes will be made to the265-strong local work force.

The acquisition price however was not confirmed.

Georg Wiebecke, head of chemical manufacturing for Roche, said: “Selling the Boulder site to ICIG will secure a reliable supplier to meet Roche's demand for commercial scale peptides and other medicinal compounds.

"We also are pleased to identify a buyer that will create a sustainable future for the Boulder site."

Gaining momentum

ICIG’s latest acquisition of Roche Colorado is the firm’s 16th conquest since its inception in 2004.

The group’s previous takeovers include polymers producer ENKA International, performance chemicals specialists Nease and RÜTGERS Organics, and GMP Fine Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals company Synkem S.A.S.

With their latest purchase, ICIG hope to further their contract peptide manufacturing capabilities.

Wolfgang Niedermaier, president of Corden Pharma, said: "By purchasing the Boulder facility, we position ourselves for a commanding presence in the contract peptide manufacturing industry.

"We are excited to expand the market for the Boulder site's unique technical capabilities, attracting additional API production opportunities that will build on its existing portfolio of Roche products and other pharmaceutical contract business."

Moving on

News of the acquisition comes months after Roche decided to seek a buyer for the Boulder site back in November as part of their new Operational Excellence program .

But with Roche still using the plant’s capabilities, one might question Roche’s decision to sell Roche Colorado Corp.

Roche media spokeswoman Roche Silvia Dobry told in-PharmaTechnologist: “The Roche peptide pipeline is not expected to generate a sustainable demand equal to the capacity existing in Boulder.

“As announced in November 2010, Roche decided to seek a buyer for the Boulder site as a component of its Operational Excellence program.

“Roche made the decision to source its future large scale commercial synthetic peptide needs through third party contract manufacturers.

“As the established peptide supply source, Boulder now is becoming a third party contract manufacturer to Roche.”

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