Roche offloads Spanish production site to CMO Famar

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In the next chapter of a major manufacturing upheaval Roche laid out in November, the Swiss pharma has struck a deal with Greek contract manufacturer Famar to offload a plant in Leganes, Spain. Expected to close in the coming weeks, the agreement will yield for Famar an FDA-approved plant as it eyes expansion into the world’s richest pharma market.

Through the pact, Famar will supply Roche with the products already made at the site as part of a “long term” manufacturing partnership. The Leganes site adds to the company’s offerings in solid dosage forms and highly potent APIs, its release said.

For Roche, the Leganes sale marks its next move in a push to close four sites and transition its manufacturing ops more into biologics and specialized small-molecule drugs and away from older drugs that require high capacities. It announced the plan last November, saying the drive would cost about $1.6 billion and result in 1,200 layoffs over a 5 year period.

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Last month, after unsuccessful attempts to sell plants in South Carolina and Clarecastle, Ireland, the Roche said it’ll move forward to close them over a period of two to three years. About 220 people worked at the South Carolina plant at the time of the announcement and 240 at the Ireland site.

By buying Leganes, Famar gets a key component to its strategy of breaking into the U.S. pharma market. The buy follows on its deal in April to buy an FDA-approved plant in Canada from Bayer’s consumer health division. Once both acquisitions close, Famar said it will have two FDA-approved sites with “ambitious” growth targets in North America and elsewhere.

The terms of the Leganes sale weren’t disclosed.

- here’s the release

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