U.S. CMO Avara Pharmaceutical Service has announced that it has entered into an agreement under which it will acquire an AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN) manufacturing facility located in Avlon Avonmouth, England. Avara noted that it will hire 210 employees working at the plant and will manufacture products for AstraZeneca on a contract basis as part of the deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Following the announcement of the acquisition, Avara CEO Tim Tyson noted that they were excited to have Avlon join the Avara team and to add significant capabilities to his company. He indicated that they are excited to be able to transition this AstraZeneca center of technical excellence to a worldwide pharmaceutical service center of excellence. He further noted that the facility would be the fifth site in their global network with other facilities in UK, U.S, Ireland, and Puerto Rico.
Marc Jones, AstraZeneca’s executive VP of supply in EMEA noted that they have confidence that Avara is the right company to oversee the continuing supply of their products that are manufactured at the facility, as well as building a long-term sustainable future for the site. He further noted that they look forward to collaborating with Avara as the new owner of the site to ensure continuous supply of their products for the patient who needs them
AstraZeneca had noted in 2014 that it would close the active pharmaceutical ingredient plant in Avlon by 2017 as generics hit key products. The U.K.-based plant makes the APIs for bipolar treatment Seroquel and cholesterol drug Crestor, both now dealing with generic competition. AstraZeneca has already closed or is in the process of closing other facilities as it redesigns its manufacturing network, as part of a $1.1 billion cost-cutting plan.
Avara’s latest acquisition comes at a time when it has said that it is buying Astellas Pharma Technologies, the U.S. contract manufacturing operation of the Japanese company. It has a 312,153 square-foot plant in Norman, Oklahoma, where it also took on about 200 employees. It also signed a deal to continue making products for Astellas.