Patheon buys specialty API maker IRIX

Patheon, whose parent DPx Holdings has it on an expansion binge, will pick up a U.S.-based specialty small molecule API maker. This deal comes after Patheon bought its first U.S. biologics plants last year and started on a major build-out at its North Carolina facility.

The contract development and manufacturing company is buying IRIX Pharmaceuticals in Florence, SC, which specializes in difficult-to-manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from early and late development, through commercial launch, Patheon announced Wednesday.

IRIX has manufacturing facilities in Greenville and Florence, SC, and has capabilities to develop and manufacture APIs for high-potency drugs and schedule 1 through 4 controlled substances. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close within 60 days, were not disclosed.

DPx was born last year as the second largest contract development and manufacturing company in the world, created from the $2.6 billion merger of Patheon and Netherlands-based DSM Pharmaceutical Products. DPx is 51% owned by private investment group JLL Partners and 49% by Royal DSM. It owns DPxFine Chemicals and Banner Life Sciences, as well as Patheon.

It has been expanding with Patheon since agreeing to buy Gallus BioPharmaceuticals in August for an undisclosed sum, picking up biologics plants in St. Louis, MO, and Princeton, NJ. They were folded into Patheon's biologics group, which has existing sites in Groningen, the Netherlands, and Brisbane, Australia. In October, Patheon announced a $159 million expansion of its facility in Greenville, NC, promising the state it would add 488 jobs in 5 years in exchange for $6.3 million in incentives. The company already has about 1,000 employees at the facility.

- here's the release