Capsugel bags Encap for lipid technology

More international M&A is happening in the capsule end of drug manufacturing. In the latest deal, Capsugel has acquired Encap, a Livingston, Scotland-based manufacturer that specializes in lipid-based products.

Encap operates a manufacturing plant that is approved by both the FDA and the U.K.'s MHRA, which is equipped, the company says, to handle high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Capsugel pointed to Encap's proprietary targeted-release technology and its abuse-deterrence technology as part of the attraction. The FDA is evaluating whether to require some kind of deterrence technology for any opioids. No price was attached to the deal.

In February, Capsugel created what it calls its Dosage Form Solutions (DFS) business to focus on lipid-based formulations, including liquid-filled capsules, softgels, and solid-lipid pellets, as well as a lipid formulation software system to speed development, the company said. The merger creates "greater depth and breadth of our technology platforms, product development capabilities, and manufacturing infrastructure," said Amit Patel, who last month was named president to oversee Capsugel DFS. The operation is based at the company's Morristown, NJ, headquarters.

The global capsule-making space has seen a fair amount of action in recently. Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings is slated to close this month on its $650 million acquisition of U.S.-based Qualicaps from the Carlyle Group ($CG). In December, Canada-based Patheon wrapped up its $225 million buyout of Banner Pharmacaps from VION, a Dutch company. That deal gave Patheon four more manufacturing operations, 1,200 more employees and a foothold in the rapidly growing Latin American market. 

- here's the Capsugel announcement