Evonik puts down $41M to expand North American CDMO capabilities for injectables

German specialty chemicals firm Evonik is investing €35 million to expand its CDMO operations in the U.S. and Canada. (Evonik)

Germany-headquartered specialty chemicals company Evonik is investing €35 million ($40.8 million) to expand its CDMO facilities in Alabama and Vancouver, Canada, to meet growing demand for controlled release injectable formulations.

Following more than $50 million of investment over the last four years in its Birmingham, Alabama site, Evonik is constructing a new 31,000-square-foot building there to increase the production capacity of its Resomer polymers. These bioresorbable materials, acquired by Evonik from Boehringer Ingelheim back in 2011, are used in extended-release parenteral drug delivery systems and medical devices.

In addition, the company has installed a new filling line for complex injectable products. The line will support the liquid, lyophilized or powder-filling of drugs in vial sizes of up to 50 mL on clinical or commercial scale. Both the fill line and the new Resomer are expected to be in use later this year.

Evonik recently made the Birmingham site its global competence center for medical devices, which develops new medtech solutions to enhance its position in biomaterials and medical polymers. The new facility will also become a pilot unit for polymer contract research projects.

To further expand its CDMO capacity, Evonik is also upgrading its existing facility and adding a second adjacent building at the Vancouver site it acquired in 2016 as Transferra Nanosciences. The expansion will more than double the current size of its Vancouver site to 4,300 square meters. The Canadian affiliate specializes in liposomal nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems.

In addition to those two locations, Evonik said in its 2017 report that it had invested a “double-digit million-euro amount” to extend its facility in Tippecanoe, Indiana, for API contract manufacturing. Evonik acquired the facility from Eli Lilly in 2010 and is now serving more than 20 pharma customers including Lilly.

The North American expansions come in the midst of a restructuring at Evonik, which aims to save €200 million in costs by the end of 2020. The plan includes cutting up to 1,000 jobs in administration and sales across its global operations by that time.