CDMO Avara buys AstraZeneca plant in France, marking 3 deals in 3 months

CDMO Avara has bought a solid dose plant from AstraZeneca, the eighth site it has bought from drugmakers in about two years.

In the last three months, budding CDMO Avara Pharmaceutical Services has bought three plants from Big Pharma. It bought a Pfizer sterile injectables facility in August, a GlaxoSmithKline consumer plant in September and has now picked up a solid dose facility from AstraZeneca to conclude an October deal.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company Monday said it had acquired the facility in Reims, France, which also includes packaging and distribution operations. Terms of the deal were kept under wraps but Avara said it was adding the “Reims team” to its operation.

In an emailed response Tuesday, AstraZeneca said about 130 employees will transfer to Avara but a small number will leave voluntarily.  

As with some of its other deals Avara has done, the sale includes a multi-year, multi-product agreement for producing products currently manufactured at the site. The CDMO will continue to produce and package Crestor, Atacand, Inderal, Zestril and Tenormin. The site also supplies the full AstraZeneca product portfolio for France, Maghreb in Africa and French Western African Countries. 

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In two years, Avara has bought eight sites now from drugmakers looking to unload unneeded facilities, saving hundreds of pharma manufacturing jobs in the process. When it bought a former Hospira plant in Liscate, Italy, from Pfizer, it brought on about 250 employees.

This is actually the second facility it has picked up from AstraZeneca. Last year Avara bought an API plant in Avlon, Avonmouth, England, and hired the 210 employees already working there. As with a number of these deals, it struck a supply agreement with the U.K. company to continue to produce some of the products AstraZeneca made there.