Sagent buys U.S. sterile injectables plant in boost for parent Nichi-Iko

Japan’s Nichi-Iko Pharmaceutical bought Illinois-based Sagent Pharmaceuticals in 2016 to get a foothold in the U.S. Now Nichi-Iko is establishing a solid U.S. manufacturing footprint by acquiring a plant in North Carolina.

Nichi-Iko says that Sagent has bought an FDA-approved small molecule and biologics manufacturing site in Raleigh from Copenhagen, Denmark-based Xellia Pharmaceuticals. The North Carolina facility is the first U.S. plant for Tokyo-based Nichi-Iko as well as for Sagent which has traditionally relied on contractors to produce the sterile injectables it produces for clients.   

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Nichi-Iko said it was taking on the plant’s employees and that Schaumburg, Illinois-based Sagent will continue to supply Xellia with some of its products. Sagent will use the plant to produce some of the sterile injectables it already sells and the biosimilars Nichi-Iko has under development.  

“In addition to complementing our historic partner-based supply model with internal manufacturing capabilities, the Raleigh site will enable production of lyophilized formulations of our future biosimilars product offerings,” Sangent CEO Peter Kaemmerer said in a statement (pdf).

Nichi-Iko says it is one of the largest Japanese generic drugmakers with sales of about $1.5 billion. It bought Sagent in 2016 for about $735 million to move into the U.S. market and as a conduit in the U.S. for the biosimilars it is developing.