Cambrex Updates Integration of Halo Pharma and Avista Pharma; Expands Small-Molecule API Mfg

By Patricia Van Arnum - DCAT Editorial Director

April 9, 2019

  JJ24260 Shawn Cavanagh web

Shawn P. Cavanagh
Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer
Cambrex Corporation

Shawn P. Cavanagh, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Cambrex, provided an update on the integration of the company’s $425-million acquisition of Halo Pharma and $252-million acquisition of Avista Pharma Solutions at the DCAT Week ’19 Member Company Announcement Forum, which was held March 18, 2019 in New York.

Cavanagh explained that the acquisition of Halo Pharma added drug-development and drug-product manufacturing capabilities to Cambrex, a provider of small-molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) development and manufacturing services. The addition of Avista Pharma Solutions brought early-stage development and discovery services, stand-alone analytical services, solid-state sciences capabilities, and microbiology testing to the company’s portfolio of services.

Cambrex is now organized into three main business units: drug substance, drug product, and early-stage development and testing. The drug-substance business unit incorporates the majority of the company’s existing API business. It includes services for the development and manufacturing of innovator and generic APIs, scale-up, technical transfer and related analytical development as well as specialist capabilities, such as the handling of controlled and highly potent substances, continuous flow chemistry, biocatalysis, and solid-state science.

The drug-product business unit consists of two sites in Whippany, New Jersey, and Mirabel, Canada (outside of Montreal), which were the facilities gained in the Halo Pharma acquisition, which was completed in September 2018. The business has expertise in formulation and development of conventional dosage forms, including oral solids, liquids, creams, sterile and non-sterile ointments, and specialist drug-product capabilities, including developing and manufacturing complex and difficult-to-produce formulations, products for pediatric indications, and controlled substances.

The third business unit includes capabilities gained from Cambrex’s acquisition of Avista Pharma Solutions, which the company completed in January 2019. The new business unit consists of early-stage discovery and testing services and provides early clinical-phase support to customers requiring smaller quantities of drug-substance and drug-product supply as well as stand-alone analytical services, such as microbiology, compendial, and drug-release testing and cleanroom validation.

The two acquisitions added over 800 employees and six new facilities to Cambrex. Its workforce now numbers over 2,000 at 13 locations across North America and Europe.

In addition to the acquisitions, Cavanagh outlined investments made by the company in its core API development and manufacturing business. Cambrex made several key investments in 2018 in its US facilities. These investments included the purchase of a new 45,000-square-foot building in High Point, North Carolina to expand the company’s clinical supply and process-development capacity. At Charles City, Iowa, a new $24-million, 4,500-square-foot facility for the manufacture of highly potent APIs is due to open in May 2019.