German lyophilisation ramp-up could be delayed into next year, Recipharm

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/alexis84
Image: iStock/alexis84

Related tags: Delay, Tom delay

A lyophilisation expansion announced in 2013 at an aseptic facility in Wasserburg, Germany has been delayed due to lengthy approval processes, says Recipharm.

The contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) announced it was pumping around €32m ($38m) into a facility in Wasserburg, near Munich, in October 2013​ to add a fourth production area and increase lyophilisation capacity.

The project was earmarked for completion in 2016 but is not yet up and running, and during Recipharm’s interim report last week the firm said it expects to see a further delay, possibly into next year, of the ramp-up.

Kjell Johansson, president of Manufacturing Services Europe at the Sweden-headquartered firm, told this publication: “The timeline in Wasserburg is now slightly delayed due to the somewhat lengthy process of receiving the necessary regulatory and customer approvals, rather than being anything to do with the facility itself.”

He added a ramp-up of lyophilisation capabilities by about 20% at its facility in Masate, Italy is, however, progressing in line with the CDMO’s plans in terms of cost and time, and is set to feed growing customer demand for freeze-drying services.

“Recipharm is experiencing greater demand for lyophilisation among customers ranging from some of the largest pharmaceutical companies to small and mid-sized firms and we are focused on strengthening our capabilities in the shortest timescale possible, while also maintaining quality, which is paramount.”

First Half 2017

For the six months January to June 2017, Recipharm reported its highest ever sales and EBITDA of SEK 2.7bn ($330m) and SEK 401m, respectively.

CEO Thomas Eldered attributed the 23.6% year-on-year growth to phasing from the first quarter, currency tailwinds, and the impact of a number of acquisitions.

In the past couple of years, the CDMO has acquired a number of businesses including Kemwell’s Swedish and Indian operations​, Indian drugmaker Nitin Lifesciences​, and Italian antibiotic filling specialist Mitim​.

And Eldered hinted at further acquisitions to come:

“The market is providing us with good opportunities for accretive acquisitions and major outsourcing projects. Even though we now have a leading asset base and global footprint we see good and highly interesting opportunities which we intend to explore.

“Our growth driving strategies will deliver and I’m confident that our long-term objectives will be achieved as we are becoming a global CDMO leader.”

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