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Evotec hives off chemical development biz

By Anna Lewcock , 11-Sep-2007

German firm Evotec has sold off its chemical and pharmaceutical development (CPD) business along with the associated facilities in the UK.

The happy new owner is US firm Aptuit, hoping to enhance its global active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) network through the €46.4m purchase announced today. Aptuit gains an API facility in Oxford, England and a recently expanded parenteral fill and finish facility in Glasgow, Scotland. Evotec's two good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliant pilot plants used by the CPD division house eight reactors with capacities ranging from 100 to 1,600 litres, with typical batch sizes from 5kg to 150kg. The acquisition provides Aptuit with small molecule API development labs and kilo labs as well as the pilot plants in Oxford, complimenting the firm's existing API operations in the US and India, and clinical scale parenteral fill/finish facilities including two lyophilisation suites in Glasgow. The purchase gains Aptuit an established European presence, and according to the firm will provide over 80 clients expected to generate revenues in excess of $40m (€29m) by the end of this year.


Under the terms of the transaction, Aptuit has also entered into a long-term agreement with Evotec to supply APIs and provide the German company with the full range of Aptuit's development services to support Evotec's proprietary pharmaceutical pipeline. Aptuit also sees the Evotec acquisition as a strategic move in terms of the geographic locations in which it plans to increase its presence, not only in terms of European operations, but also its recent moves in India. "This acquisition continues Aptuit's momentum as we assemble a complete suite of drug development services in all three major geographies in Europe, North America and Asia," Aptuit CEO Michael Griffith said in a statement. Integrating the newly acquired facilities and capabilities with Aptuit's existing network, Griffith then intends to leverage the enhanced capacity to drive the company's commercial-scale operations in India.


Announced in June this year, Aptuit's Indian joint venture with Laurus Labs - Aptuit Laurus - is due to benefit from the acquisition according to Aptuit, with company growth expected to accelerate through the expanded client base and API presence provided through the Evotec purchase. Evotec has hived off the chemical development unit in a bid to concentrate on its strategy to become "an emerging pharmaceutical company," according to the firm, focusing more on providing research solutions and partnering for its own internally developed preclinical and clinical programmes.


The transaction is expected to close within 75 days according to Aptuit, with the company already having identified several existing clients interested in making the most of the firm's new capabilities and placing work at the Glasgow facility.

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