Consort Medical

Aesica Pharmaceuticals has today announced (1st March 2011) that it has successfully completed the acquisition of three manufacturing sites in Germany and Italy from leading biopharma company, UCB.

The acquisition of the European sites in Monheim, Zwickau and Pianezza demonstrates Aesica’s commitment to continually enhancing its service offering to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.  It is the company’s first acquisition outside the UK and will almost double the capabilities of the business.

Moreover, the arrangement is particularly important to Aesica as it represents the beginning of a strategic partnership with UCB, which comprises a long-term supply agreement between both companies, providing a strong platform for Aesica to develop new business streams for the sites.

In addition to establishing a presence in Europe, the deal represents an extension to the current Aesica offer and technological capability. While Aesica currently offers extensive services in relation to the manufacture of formulated products, its move into Europe will enable it to enhance its injectables and oral liquid dosage capability, as well as introducing hard encapsulation technology to its service portfolio.

Furthermore, the sites at Monheim and Pianezza will bolster Aesica’s current packaging capabilities and the company will operate a line dedicated purely for the Japanese market, which is strategically vital as the company focuses on expansion across Asia.

Dr. Robert Hardy, Chief Executive, Aesica, says: “The acquisition of the three UCB manufacturing sites is strategically crucial for our business as we extend and enhance our current offering and establish a presence in Europe. We will fully utilise the expertise and knowledge across the current team at each of the sites to facilitate our continued expansion and to achieve our vision of becoming the number one supplier of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Formulated Products to the pharmaceutical industry.

“We believe Europe will be a key market for us in 2011 and to have secured such high profile sites as well as agreeing a long-term strategic partnership to supply UCB, is testament to our commitment to being recognised as a leader in the industry. Our unique proposition lies in our flexible and bespoke approach to service delivery, coupled with our ability to develop products from the initial clinical stage through to final commercial supply. Furthermore, the long established and proven expertise we provide enables us to provide primary and secondary contract manufacturing services to the highest possible standards. By acquiring the sites in Europe we have not only almost doubled our workforce but we have gained new technological capability, which will further enhance and strengthen our unique service proposition.”

He concludes: “It is this full service offer and our dedication to exceptional service standards that truly sets Aesica apart from our counterparts and we believe we are now in a position to compete fully with the current market leaders.”

While all staff across the three sites have transferred to Aesica, a new team from the UK have relocated to aid the transition and direct operations at the sites. Simon Clough, who has been with Aesica for over three years has been appointed Managing Director, Formulated Products Business Unit and will lead the new team from his base at the Monheim site.

Aesica was formed in September 2004 through a management buyout of a former BASF site in Cramlington. Northumberland, backed by private equity firm LDC, which took a significant stake in the business and has provided continued strategic and financial support along with Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets Acquisition Finance. This continued backing has given Aesica access to the capital required to support its ongoing programme of organic growth and complementary acquisitions.

Similarly, PharmaVentures Ltd acted as exclusive advisor and broker to UCB. Fintan Walton, Chief Executive of PharmaVentures, says: “We were delighted to be trusted by UCB to find a strategic partner for three of their manufacturing businesses. To announce today yet another successful outcome for two pharmaceutical players underscores the growing capability of PharmaVentures to the needs of the pharmaceutical industry.”