AMRI, Saneca Pharma team to produce a range of opium-based APIs

AMRI ($AMRI), the Albany, NY-based company that has been moving away from drug discovery toward manufacturing, said it's teaming with Saneca Pharmaceuticals of Slovakia to produce and sell a suite of opium-derived APIs.

The agreement puts Saneca's deep background in extracting opiates from plant biomass to make APIs with AMRI's U.S. operations, sales and marketing platform, AMRI said in a press release. Saneca will supply intermediates as well process transfer technology that will allow AMRI to develop more than 24 APIs.

On its end, AMRI will oversee U.S. regulatory filings, and with FDA signoffs, will manufacture the APIs at its Drug Enforcement Administration-approved facilities in the U.S.

AMRI's George Svokos

"This alliance allows us to not only expand our portfolio of controlled substance APIs, but it also allows us to be fully integrated with a competitive cost structure," George Svokos, a senior VP and chief commercial officer at AMRI, said in a statement.

Last month, the company posted a profit for the first time in 12 months, which was seen as a sign AMRI is gaining some momentum as a contract drug developer. AMRI has been transitioning away from its dependence on royalty revenue and drug discovery to focus on large-scale manufacturing by steadily buying up assets and dumping unwanted capacity.

- see the press release