NextPharma set to acquire two Lonza sites

Should the agreement receive all necessary approvals, the companies say, customer experience will remain a focus through the carve-out and ownership transfer process

Lonza and NextPharma have announced an agreement for the potential sale of Lonza's Ploermel and Edinburgh sites, subject to relevant conditions and regulatory approvals.

The sites employ around 260 and 130 permanent staff respectively. They produce liquid-filled hard capsules (including Licaps) and softgels (including for high potent and hormonal products) for the pharmaceutical and consumer health and nutrition markets.

NextPharma offers CDMO services in oral and topical (including sterile ophthalmic) finished dosage forms. With the acquisition, NextPharma plans to develop and broaden its technology offering into lipid based finished dosage forms (softgels and liquid-filled hard capsules), in addition to offering high potency capabilities and new chemical entity development services to customers.

Lonza plans to exit both softgels and liquid-filled hard capsules for the pharma market, aside from retaining capability for feasibility studies as part of a technology selection offering. In the consumer health and nutrition space, Lonza plans to exit softgels but continue to offer Licaps-based products out of Colmar, Greenwood & Sagamihara. Capsules remain core to Lonza’s offering and the company has recently announced investment to expand capsule manufacturing capacity by 30 billion capsules annually across eight sites.

Gordon Bates, President and Head of Small Molecules, Lonza said: “NextPharma is an established and well-respected company, with extensive experience in oral and topical finished dosage forms. As such, it is the ideal buyer given the technologies available at the Ploermel and Edinburgh sites. We are confident that the capabilities and experience at the two sites are a complementary fit with NextPharma’s portfolio and that it is ideally placed to develop both to their full potential. Both our companies have a focus on people development and customers and we will be working closely in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition for all if the project is concluded.”

Quote from Peter Burema, CEO of NextPharma: “At NextPharma, we are very excited at the prospect of adding two new centers of excellence, at Ploermel and Edinburgh, to our manufacturing network, allowing us to further broaden our technology offering for both our existing and new customers. These technologies, combined with the know-how and expertise of the employees at both sites, would provide additional solutions for drug formulations which will benefit patients across the world. On behalf of NextPharma, I look forward to welcoming our future colleagues, and I am confident that together we will continue to further develop and grow NextPharma as a leading and well-respected European CDMO.”

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