Avara to buy Novartis site, signs sterile injectables supply deal

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty/ImageegamI
Getty/ImageegamI
Avara Pharmaceutical Services has agreed to buy Novartis’ sterile manufacturing facility and development centre in Quebec, Canada.

The contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) will purchase Novartis Technical Operations’ Boucherville sterile manufacturing facility, which it says is the largest for injectable medicines in Canada.

Avara has also announced plans to buy an adjacent, 50,000 square-foot development centre operated by Sandoz​ Canada – a Novartis​ company – that first opened in 2008​ for ‘difficult-to-make products.’

“As part of the transaction, Sandoz Canada and Avara intend to sign a long-term supply agreement that is designed to maintain supply, quality and service unchanged for our customers,” ​a Sandoz spokesperson told us.

The firms also intend to enter into an agreement for development services, the spokesperson added: “Sandoz Canada is still the owner of the marketing authorisations and intellectual property (IP), as well as products under development, and will continue to have corresponding responsibilities for all of them, while the injectables will be manufactured by Avara.”

According to Sandoz, selling the site to Avara is the “best option to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Boucherville plant and drug development facility.”

“Avara has a vast customer base and plans to accelerate the plant’s and development centre’s growth,” ​the spokesperson added.

The investment – if approved – would mark Avara’s fifth acquisition from a major pharmaceutical company in three years.

In September 2016​, the CDMO bought AstraZeneca’s Crestor active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility in Avlon, UK. In August 2017​, Avara agreed to buy an ex-Hospira sterile drug manufacturing facility in Liscate, Italy, from Pfizer.

In September 2017, Avara purchased a solid dose manufacturing facility from GlaxoSmithKline in Aiken, South Carolina, US, and the following month the CDMO announced plans​ to buy AstraZeneca’s solid dosage form manufacturing, packaging and distribution facility in Reims, France.

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