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Building K

New large-volume peptide deal for Bachem

Bachem has signed a new framework agreement to provide large volumes of peptides to an unnamed customer following a joint development project. This covers “a committed volume at an equivalent value of over CHF 500 million for the five-year period of 2027-2031, with significant upside potential,” the company said.

This follows recent deals a previous large-volume contract for another unnamed customer worth CHF 175 million in 2023-4. The deal was announced in September 2022 and subsequently upgraded with a further work order for a minimum total of CHF 1 billion from 2025 to 2029.

In each of the projects, the peptides will be supplied out of Building K (pictured), the new large-scale production facility that is currently under construction at the main site in Bubendorf, Switzerland. This is due to open in 2024 and will more than double manufacturing capacity at the site.

Bachem is also intending to invest some CHF 750 million up to 2030 to build on a newly acquired 155,000 m2 site at Sisslerfeld, north-western Switzerland. This will create 500 jobs. Up to 3,000 in total could be created from ongoing expansions, on top of the 1,200 Bachem already employs.

In a related development, Bachem has just raised about CHF 108 million in a capital increase through the placement of 1,250,000 new registered shares at CHF 86.50/share on the SIX Swiss Exchange. This does not affect co-founder and chairman Peter Grogg’s majority ownership. CEO Thomas Maier explicitly linked the increase to the need to invest in “capacity increases, technological capabilities and long-term partnerships with key pharmaceutical and biotech companies” to meet growing demand for peptide and oligonucleotide drugs.

Also reflecting the growing demand for peptides, in January CordenPharma signed a multi-year agreement for the contract manufacture of a large-volume launch peptide at its former Roche facility in Boulder, Colorado. This will begin in 2023 and will potentially be worth about $1 billion, depending on actual production levels required.

As part of this, the company will further expand both large- and medium-scale peptide capacity at Colorado and in Frankfurt. It is also engaged in a pursuing a large investment programme to expand capacities and technologies in such areas as peptides, lipids and injectables, with an overall planned investment of over €200 million this year.

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