News from DCAT Week 2022: CordenPharma Acquires Three Drug-Product Mfg Facilities

Dr. Stephen Houldsworth
Vice President, Global Head of Platform Management & Marketing
CordenPharma International

CordenPharma has added to its drug-product manufacturing with the acquisition of three facilities from Vifor Pharma, a Saint Gallen, Switzerland-headquartered specialty pharmaceutical company. Dr. Stephen Houldsworth, Vice President, Global Head of Platform Management & Marketing, CordenPharma International, outlined the facilities and how they fit into the company’s global manufacturing network at the DCAT Member Company Announcement Forum held on March 21, 2022 at DCAT Week 2022.

CordenPharma completed the acquisition of three drug-product manufacturing sites from Vifor Pharma in February (February 2022). The acquisition included two facilities in Switzerland and one in Portugal and expanded CordenPharma’s oral solid dosage (OSD) capacity and as well as capabilities in other dosage forms.

The new facilities, now part of the company, are outlined below.

  • CordenPharma Ettingen, located just to the south of Basel in Switzerland, manufacturers semi-solid and non-sterile liquid drug products and provides pharmaceutical development to clinical and commercial-scale manufacturing.
  • CordenPharma Fribourg, located southwest of Bern, Switzerland, manufacturers tablets, capsules, and non-sterile liquid formulations. The site offers services from pharmaceutical development and Phase I-III clinical manufacturing to large-scale commercial manufacturing with packaging and pharma logistics capabilities for global markets.
  • CordenPharma Lisbon is situated in the city of Amadaro, which constitutes part of the conurbation of Lisbon in Portugal. The site offers the manufacture of oral solid dosage forms and non-sterile liquid drug products for clinical and commercial phases, in combination with packaging and serialization services.

How these facilities fit into the company’s manufacturing network and its dosage-form service offerings is outlined below.

  • Tablets. Tablets are already well-represented in the CordenPharma drug-product dosage offering from CordenPharma Plankstadt, the company’s site in Plankstadt, Germany. Now, the introduction of CordenPharma Fribourg & CordenPharma Lisbon significantly increases the company’s total annual volume of production into the range of approximately 500 million tablets, with an enhanced ability to manufacture either wet or dry granulations and produce either uncoated or coated tablets and mini-tabs.
  • Capsules. Although the large-scale commercial production of hard capsules was a previous gap in the CordenPharma drug-product offerings, CordenPharma Fribourg and Lisbon will help to fill it with new production annual volumes of approximately 500 million capsules, filled with either powder, granules, microparticulates, or mini-tablets.
  • Sachets. Sachets are a new dosage form for the CordenPharma drug product service offering, CordenPharma Lisbon will now provide both small- and large-scale manufacturing capabilities for sachet filling on a fully automated and dedicated line.
  • Non-Sterile Liquids.  Non-sterile liquids are another new product offering for CordenPharma, and one that brings flexibility across the sites since all of the three facilities have the ability to manufacture non-sterile liquids. In addition, the CordenPharma Ettingen site has full drug product development capabilities, including taste masking in oral liquid dosage forms.
  • Rectal Formulations, in the form of Enemas & Suppositories. This is an area that the CordenPharma Ettingen site specializes in to provide development to clinical and commercial manufacturing of these drug product delivery mechanisms.

The vast majority of this new or expanded drug-product capacity fits in CordenPharma’s small-molecule platform (active pharmaceutical ingredients and drug products). In addition, the CordenPharma Fribourg site brings highly potent manufacturing capacity in the area of tablets and capsules to compliment CordenPharma Plankstadt (Germany) facility, organized under its highly potent and oncology platform.

The acquisition of the three Vifor Pharma manufacturing sites is one part of CordenPharma’s larger growth plans as the company targets EUR 1 billion ($1.1 billion) in sales in the coming years. The bolt-on acquisition complements CordenPharma’s strategic expansion investment of EUR 100 ($110) million per year over two years to increase manufacturing capacity in CordenPharma Frankfurt (Germany), Chenôve (France) and Plankstadt (Germany), as well as new service offerings at CordenPharma Chenôve (France) and Caponago (Italy).