Noramco and AFC strike deal for controlled substance APIs

Controlled substance API producer Noramco is owned by SK Capital, which in 2016 bought the opiate supply business of Johnson & Johnson. (DiverDave/Wiki Commons)

AMPAC Fine Chemicals (AFC) recently registered a Virginia plant with the DEA to make controlled substance APIs, and Noramco says it will tap that facility for the extra capacity it needs for its growing business producing scheduled drugs for its pharma clients.  

Wilmington, Delaware-based Noramco said AFC’s plant in Petersburg, Virginia, will support its own in-house API production at a plant in Wilmington. AFC also has a plant in Rancho Cordova, California. Noramco produces cannabinoids and APIs for ADHD drugs and drugs to treat pain and addiction, including abuse-deterrent formulations.


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Noramco CEO James Mish said in a statement that after checking out a number of sites and contract manufacturers, “only AFC has both the infrastructure and analytical capabilities in place that not only meet but exceed our expectations. AFC operates with excellence in both quality and reliability.”

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Noramco is owned by SK Capital, which in 2016 paid a reported $800 million to buy Johnson & Johnson’s opiate supply and production business Tasmanian Alkaloids. About 85% of the legal, global supply of thebaine, the opium poppy extract used to make Oxycontin and other similar drugs, comes from Tasmania, near Australia.

RELATED: Sun gets direct line to poppy production with buyout of GSK opiates business

That deal made SK Capital one of three companies with direct farm-to-production suppliers for controlled substances. The other two are Australia-based TPI Enterprises and Sun Pharma, which in 2015 picked up two manufacturing sites and the opiate supply business of GlaxoSmithKline.  

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