Bespak separation from Recipharm to focus on the transition to low GWP pMDIs

Published: 21-May-2024

The spin-out has created a global CDMO focused on drug-device combination products and drug delivery devices for pulmonary and nasal inhalation

Bespak has announced the completion of the transaction to separate Recipharm’s former Advanced Delivery Systems Business Unit from the Recipharm Group to form a new standalone company. 

The spin-out has created a global contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) focused on drug-device combination products and drug delivery devices for pulmonary and nasal inhalation.

Both Bespak and Recipharm are backed by EQT Private Equity.

Historically, Bespak is the name used by its King’s Lynn, UK site – a global supplier of pressurised Metered Dose Inhaler (pMDI) dosing valves and actuators and complex Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI) devices. 

The new Bespak Group consists of three sites and has a broader range of capabilities. Its early-stage laboratory in North Carolina, US has over 20 years of experience in feasibility, analytical and product development services for inhaled and nasal drug products, while its Holmes Chapel, UK site has a history in the scale-up and clinical and commercial supply of pMDIs and nasal drug-device combination products going back to the 1960s.

Chris Hirst, formerly President of the Advanced Delivery Systems Business Unit at Recipharm, has been named CEO of the newly formed independent company, which will be headquartered at Holmes Chapel. 

“The spin-out of three former Recipharm sites, each with a long history in inhaled and nasal drug delivery, creates a new company with a clear vision and a unique offering for customers.” Said Hirst. 

Kåre Schultz, formerly CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bespak. Schultz headed Teva from 2017 to 2022 and has also served as Executive Vice President and COO at Novo Nordisk, CEO at Lundbeck, and Chairman of Royal Unibrew, a listed Danish brewery and beverage company. 

Bespak also announced a significant further investment in manufacturing capacity at its Holmes Chapel site, from which it manufactures a range of leading pMDIs for global pharmaceutical companies. 


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The next stage of an extensive expansion plan has been implemented to enable the installation of commercial-scale and pilot-scale filling lines for the manufacture of pMDIs using HFA-152a, a propellant with a significantly lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) than currently used propellants. 

This announcement builds on the site’s landmark milestone last year as it became the first CDMO to manufacture a pMDI at commercial scale with HFO-1234ze, a near-zero GWP propellant. The propellant was developed as a replacement for current hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) propellants that will be phased down, and eventually out, as a result of legislation designed to limit global warming. 

Matthias Wittkowski, Partner within EQT Private Equity’s Advisory Team, said: “The completion of the separation from Recipharm to form an independent company focussed on advancements in inhaled and nasal drug delivery – and particularly in the transition to greener pMDIs – creates a market leader in this specialised CDMO space. The creation of the new Bespak, combined with this significant investment in expanded manufacturing capability and capacity, provides a strong platform for growth and a unique opportunity to enable the industry to become more sustainable for the future.”

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