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Feature article - Biologics outsourcing to surge in 2023 as China’s innovation engine stalls

Vicky Xia and Joel Ranck of BioPlan share some first insights from the CPHI Annual Report

Having already benefitted from a COVID-based boom in the last two years, outsourcing of biologics globally is set to continue growing significantly in 2023. No production cliff is expected, even as COVID-related contracts reduce in scale, but the rapid growth of China’s biologics sector will slow.

Cambrex expands at two US sites

Cambrex has announced it is investing in a new facility in Minneapolis. It will operate as an extension of the flagship facility in Charles City, Iowa (pictured), which is simultaneously seeing further expansion.

The new site, near Minneapolis–St. Paul Airport, will specialise in analytical and chemical development for small molecule drug candidates and will cover 1,950 m2 R&D. This will double Cambrex’s analytical and chemical development footprint in the Midwest, according to CEO Thomas Loewald, while creating 46 jobs.

Expanding the chiral pool

A team led by Mark Walsh and Matthew Kitching from Durham University has published an article in JACS Au, detailing how they found nearly 1,800 conglomerate crystal structures within the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD). These are molecules that are synthesised by racemic methods but which show spontaneously enriched chirality upon crystallisation.

Oligo expansion for CatSci

CatSci has made a “significant” investment to support the development of oligonucleotide capability at its site in Cardiff, UK. This follows recent investment in the firm by Keensight Capital to support its strategic growth plans.

Modi inaugurates ‘bulk drug park’

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of a ‘bulk drug park’ at Haroli in the Una district of the northern state of Himachal Pradesh state. In doing so, he said that the park will help to “reduce dependence on API imports”.

Purolite expands resin capacity

Ecolab subsidiary Purolite has held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the tripling of agarose resin capacity at its 10,855 m2 site at Llantrisant, near Cardiff, UK. The resins are made from red seaweed in beads varying between 35 and 200 microns in size, using a “jetted” manufacturing process that is said to significantly reduces the steps and time required to produce resin, while reducing the overall carbon footprint.

Merck still driven by ‘Big Three’

Merck KGaA has revealed at its latest Capital Markets Day that it will continue to focus on its ‘Big Three’ businesses of Process Solutions and Life Science Services, new products in Healthcare and the Semiconductor Solutions arm.

By 2025, these are expected to generate about 80% of targeted sales growth, and more than 50% of total sales. The company remains on track to achieve its mid-term growth target of €25 billion that year and expects to increase sales organically by at least 6%/year on average, about €1 billion/year.

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