Private equity fund buys out sterile injectables maker LSNE

London investment fund Permira sees opportunity in the contract sterile injectables business and so has acquired U.S.-based Lyophilization Services of New England.

Sterile drug manufacturing is a growth area, and a London-based investment fund has bitten off a piece of it with the acquisition of a U.S. CDMO that specializes in the field.

Management and private equity firm Permira is buying out Lyophilization Services of New England (LSNE) for an undisclosed sum. LSNE has three manufacturing facilities located in New Hampshire that provide lyophilization services to pharma, biotech and medical device clients. It specializes in small to medium-size batches.

Matt Halvorsen, who founded the company in 1997, will retain a significant ownership position and continue to be its CEO, Permira said. Claes Glassell, the former CEO of CMC Biologics, will become chairman of the board, provide management support and help with the company’s growth strategy. 

There has been a significant amount of growth in contract sterile manufacturing in recent years as a growing proportion of new drugs are sterile injectables. In 2015, Pfizer snapped up sterile injectable and biosimilar specialist Hospira for $15 billion.

And last year, Germany’s Fresenius Kabi announced it would invest $250 million in its manufacturing site in Melrose Park, Illinois into a showcase for its sterile injectable capabilities. That came after Fresenius agreed to buy a nearly new 115,000-square-foot plant and small portfolio of products from Becton Dickinson, which built the plant in Wilson, North Carolina as a way to boost its syringe manufacturing sales.

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group last year struck a deal to buy an 86% stake in India's Gland Pharma for $1.35 billion. Approval of that deal by Indian regulators was recently delayed. Hyderabad-based Gland has four manufacturing sites in India that handle a wide variety of container-types and fillings.