Unilife grabs $40M contract to fill Hikma injectables

Jordan-based Hikma has been seeing huge success with its sterile drug manufacturing, often targeting products that are in short supply. It is sharing some of that success downstream with a new 15-year agreement to buy sterile injectable devices from a U.S. manufacturer.

York, PA-based Unilife today said that it had struck a deal to provide Hikma with a minimum of 175 million syringes next year for an initial 20 generic injectable drugs. As part of the deal, Hikma is paying Unilife $40 million upfront and in milestone payments for the customized prefillable delivery systems. It will pay $5 million immediately, $15 million more in 2014 and a final $20 million in 2015, the company said.

"Together with our recently announced long term supply contract with Sanofi, this partnership with Hikma instantly positions Unilife to become one of the largest suppliers of prefilled syringes in the world," Unilife CEO Alan Shortall said.

Sterile injectable drugs is a rapidly growing category of treatment and has led to a significant manufacturing expansion globally. Now generic drugmakers are looking for ways to distinguish themselves in the category, and some are turning to prefilled syringes, highlighting the time savings and added safety as reasons to pay a premium.

Earlier this year, medical supply company Becton Dickinson ($BDX) took a different approach. It has built a 115,000-square-foot drug manufacturing plant in Wilson, NC, and has gotten FDA approval for a couple of generic sterile injectable drugs with plans to roll out 20 or 30 more over the coming years using its prefilled injectable products as a selling point.

- here's the release

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