- A Novo Nordisk A/S manufacturing subsidiary has a new plant under its belt that should help beef up its production of anti-infection drugs.
- Xellia Pharmaceuticals ApS announced on Tuesday the completion of its Centralized Laboratory Services facility, a multi-story, 3,000-square-meter (about 32,000-square-foot) building in Budapest, Hungary, that serves as an expansion to an existing active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) site also in that city.
- The expansion includes microbiology and chemical evaluation laboratories, a product stability center and administrative spaces, and strengthens Xellia's "product release and stability testing services for APIs and Finished Dosage Form (FDF) produced across the Company’s other sites in the US, China and Denmark," according to an Aug. 22 statement.
Xellia's expansion comes at a time when antibiotic resistance is on the forefront of healthcare providers' minds. Annually, at least two million people in the U.S. contract antibiotic-resistant infections each year, and about 23,000 people die because of them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Those figures haven't been lost on the pharmaceutical industry. Pfizer Inc., for instance, offered $550 million upfront last year to acquire AstraZeneca plc's anti-infective portfolio. Less than a year later, it inked a deal with Basilea Pharmaceutica for exclusive rights to the Swiss pharma's anti-fungal treatment Cresemba (isavuconazole) in Europe, Israel, Russia and Turkey.
Anti-infective specialist Xellia spun out of specialty drugmaker Alpharma Inc. back in 2008. Both businesses are now under the control of big pharmas, with Alpharma wrapped into Pfizer Inc. following the New York-based company's 2010 acquisition of King Pharmaceuticals Inc. — which gobbled up Alpharma in 2008 — and Novo pick up of Xellia from U.K.-based private equity firm 3i for $700 million in 2013.
Novo's reasoning for the Xellia takeout was that the target represented a strong strategic fit. The Danish drugmaker argued Xellia operated in a similar fashion to other companies it owned.
"The products that Xellia supplies are critical life-saving treatments for many patients around the globe, and are manufactured by use of fermentation technologies, which is a manufacturing approach similar to that of Novo Nordisk, Novozymes and Chr. Hansen," then-CEO of Novo A/S Henrik Gürtler said in a March 21, 2013 statement.
Per its new expansion, Xellia has added more than 40 new positions to its quality team and plans to grow the Centralized Laboratory Services team to roughly 80 employees by 2019.