Spain's Exeltis gets two plants in Turkey with deal for Embil

Embil facility in Turkey--courtesy of Embil

The biotech arm of Spain's Grupo Chemo earlier this year bought a contract manufacturer in Spain specializing in monoclonal antibodies as part of its ambitions to produce biosimilars. Now its pharma division will get two manufacturing plants in Turkey and a portfolio of products with an acquisition there.

The company announced today that its Exeltis division will pick up a plant in Bomonti and one in Çerkezköy that opened in 2012 as part of its acquisition of Embil, a company with 200 employees and about €16 million ($20 million) in sales. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to Embil's website, its newest plant is a 9,700-square-meter (104,000-square-foot) facility that produces semisolid products.

"This movement is a decisive step in the growth strategy of Exeltis as it responds to the company's goal of international expansion," Grupo Chemo Managing Director Leandro Sigman said in a statement.

Turkey is a rapidly growing emerging market expected to reach more than $22 billion in sales by the end of next year. According to a report released this summer by CPhI, Turkey has 166 local drugmakers, most of those making generic drugs, as well as 134 foreign firms. The government is providing incentives to boost local production. To that end, it provided support to Onko Koçsel, which is building a €70 million ($95 million) plant that is slated to make more than 180 cancer drugs, including biosimilars. Turkey's largest pharmaceutical wholesaler, Pharmactive, started making drugs last year at a $120 million plant.

Without being specific, Grupo Chemo said it will undertake a number of "investment projects" in Turkey in the short term. It has been expanding elsewhere in the world, but also in its home market. In June its mAbxience biotech unit bought Genhelix, a contract manufacturer development organization in Leon, Spain.

- here's the release