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Sterling buys Novartis site in Ireland

CDMO Sterling Pharma Solutions has agreed to acquire Novartis’s 45-hectare Ringaskiddy campus near Cork, Ireland. Financial details of the sale, which is expected to close in Q4, 2022, have not been disclosed. All of the workforce will transfer to Sterling, bringing its global total to over 1,000.

The deal also includes an ongoing supply agreement for products Novartis has made at the site. The facilities include three API manufacturing buildings, plus facilities to support development and scale-up.  

Sterling CEO Kevin Cook said that the Ringaskiddy site “has a number of synergies with our current global facilities enabling us to continue our growth strategy in the small molecule market, as well as extending our capabilities in several key technological areas such as peptide manufacturing and large-scale chromatography”.

This continues several years of growth by acquisition and investment for the Sterling, which is based at Dudley near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK. Most notably, in October 2020, it acquired Alcami’s facility at Germantown, Wisconsin, boosting its API development and manufacturing capacity, particularly for complex and hazardous requirements, and including high potency.

In the same month, Sterling opened its Material Science Centre at Dudley. This added solid form services that it had formerly outsourced, including salt and co-crystal screening, polymorph screening, pre-formulation evaluation and crystallisation development, to its in-house capabilities. It also completed the build-out of its sterile manufacturing site in South Carolina.

Later in 2020, Sterling announced a new strategic partnership with ADC Biotechnology, a specialist in antibody-drug conjugates. This involved and unspecified but “significant” investment in ADC Bio with a view to acquiring completely.

In December 2021, Sterling announced the next phase of a multi-year investment strategy at Dudley. It planned to spend £10 million by mid-2022 on new process development laboratories and commercial-scale manufacturing equipment to meet growth in demand for small molecule API manufacturing.

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