Alkermes gains manufacturing strength with EDT pickup

Alkermes' pickup yesterday of drug delivery specialist Elan Drug Technologies, the chemical formulation and manufacturing unit of Irish biotech Elan, brings the company additional back-end development and manufacturing strength. That's in addition to EDT's two recently approved drugs combined with Alkermes' portfolio of approved and development-stage drugs.

But more than just gaining latter-stage drug development and production capabilities--including such EDT novelties as NanoCrystal technology for poorly water soluble drugs and proprietary technologies for oral controlled-release drugs--CEO Richard Pops now oversees a well-equipped global manufacturing network that contains both complementary pieces and backup support.

The combined operation includes GMP facilities in Wilmington, OH, Gainesville, GA and Athlone, Ireland. Having an expanded manufacturing footprint in injectables and solid oral dosage forms in the U.S. and Europe is "hugely advantageous for the combined entity," explains an EDT spokesperson in an email.

The Wilmington site produces sterile injectables, while the Athlone and Gainesville facilities specialize in solid oral dosage development and manufacturing, the spokesperson says. Athlone is FDA/EMA-approved and has an annual capacity of 2 billion tablets/capsules.

Gainesville likewise manufactures solid oral dosage forms (500-million unit capacity), but also can be a DEA-approved site for production of controlled substances, including morphine.

Each of the plants is equipped for complex drug formulations.  

- here's the Alkermes release
- see this article