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Thermo Fisher buys GSK Irish site

Thermo Fisher Scientific, owner of Patheon, has agreed to acquire a drug substance manufacturing site in Cork, Ireland, from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for about €90 million. The deal should be completed by the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing condition. The site will then become part of Thermo Fisher’s Laboratory Products & Services segment, within the Pharma Services business.

The Cork site employs over 400 and has 270 m3 of reactor capacity spread across ten production buildings. It makes complex, specialised APIs for indications including childhood cancer, depression and Parkinson’s disease. It also has an R&D pilot plant and lab infrastructure for the process development, scale-up and physical characterisation of APIs. Thermo Fisher plans to expand it.

“The GSK Cork site will enhance our API offering by expanding our development and commercial capabilities to provide much-needed capacity for APIs currently in development,” said Michel Lagarde, senior vice president and president of Pharma Services. It will continue to produce APIs under a multi-year supply agreement for GSK, which has not commented on its own reasons for selling.

This is just the latest in a series of organic and acquisition-led investments by Thermo Fisher. Most recently, it acquired Brammer Bio in viral vector manufacturing. It is also investing $150 million to expand its sterile three fill-finish sites in Italy and the US, and plans to complete the $50 million expansion of its St. Louis biologics facility later this year.

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