- Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is looking to grow its presence in Europe with a new facility focused on pharmaceutical services and the drug supply chain.
- The planned facility will take up about 86,000 square feet of a large site in Rheinfelden, Germany, and cost $35 million. Thermo Fisher expects construction to begin in the fourth quarter and complete sometime in the following 12 to 18 months.
- Drug developers will be able to tap the new facility for cold and ambient clinical trial materials for their research. What's more, it offers "a strategic logistical location for shipping either by road or air," according to the contract manufacturer.
It costs a lot to bring a medicine to market. An oft-cited figure from the Tufts Center for Study of Drug Development estimates companies shell out an average of $2.6 billion per approved therapy, factoring in both the out-of-pocket and time expenses.
Those costs, combined with a slew of other factors, have caused returns on R&D to shrink in recent years.
The industry hasn't figured out a remedy to this problem. But in the meantime, they've increasingly turned to contract researchers and manufacturers like Thermo Fisher for services that normally are more expensive to perform in-house.
Keeping up with demand is difficult, however. Many medium- and large-sized contracting organizations have been trying to set up new facilities or broaden their service offerings. Consolidations have been another vital tool, as evidenced by Syneos Health Inc. — borne out of the merger between INC Research Holdings Inc. and inVentiv Health Inc. — and Catalent Inc.'s near billion-dollar acquisition of Cook Pharmica LLC.
Thermo Fisher is part of the larger trends as well, with its hands in many pots. In the last four months alone, it has inked a long-term supply deal with Juno Therapeutics Inc. for a reagent used in CAR-T drug development, and a commercial supply agreement with Flexion Therapeutics Inc. for the drugmaker's recently approved pain medication Zilretta (triamcinolone acetonide).
This latest facility also strengthens Thermo Fisher's capabilities, helping it to keep up with competitors in Europe.
"The company's decision to expand is in response to a growing demand for global clinical supply services, worldwide," Thermo said in a statement.