19 Jan 2021
NextPharma Set to Acquire Two Lonza Sites Specialized in Lipid Oral Dosage Forms
  • Agreement initiates process for future acquisition of Lonza sites in Ploermel (FR) and Edinburgh (UK) allowing NextPharma to broaden technology offering into lipid finished dosage forms
  • Centers of excellence employing a total of 390 staff offer expertise in Lipid Oral Dosage Forms including softgels and liquid-filled hard capsules for the pharma and nutrition markets
  • Sustainable growth and people development a priority for both companies

A French version of this release is also available

Quote from Gordon Bates, President and Head of Small Molecules, Lonza:

“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.”

Basel, Switzerland and London, United Kingdom, 19 January 2021 – Lonza and NextPharma announced an agreement for the potential sale of Lonza's Ploermel (FR) and Edinburgh (UK) sites. The agreement is subject to relevant conditions and regulatory approvals. Where applicable, both parties will consult with local Works Councils.

The Ploermel (FR) and Edinburgh (UK) 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 specialized CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing) services in oral and topical (including sterile ophthalmic) finished dosage forms. With this intended 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 both its existing and new customers.

With this intended divestment, 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 (lipid capsules) out of Colmar (FR), Greenwood (US) & Sagamihara (JP). Capsules (including Licaps® for nutrition) remain core to Lonza's offering and the company has recently announced an investment of CHF85m to expand capsule manufacturing capacity by 30 billion capsules annually across eight sites.

Should the agreement receive all necessary approvals, a seamless customer experience will remain a focus through the carve-out and ownership transfer process. NextPharma has indicated that maintaining high standards of service delivery and quality for customers will remain a priority through the transition period.