Last news analysis

Industrial redeployment
in Softgel pharmaceutical forms

By The Editor - 25 january 2021

NextPharma, CDMO specializing in finished oral and topical dosage forms (including sterile ophthalmics), acquires the industrial sites of Ploermel (FR)
and Edinburgh (UK) from Lonza.

The Ploermel (FR) and Edinburgh (UK) sites employ around 260 and 130 permanent staff respectively. They produce liquid-filled hard capsules (including Licaps®) and softgels (including for high potent and hormonal products) for the pharmaceutical and consumer health and nutrition markets.

Lonza are exiting softgels for both the pharma and consumer health and nutrition markets through a divestment of two sites in Ploermel (FR) and Edinburgh (UK). However, Lonza will continue to offer liquid filled hard capsules for the consumer health and nutrition markets from our other sites in Colmar (FR), Greenwood (US) and Sagamihara (JP). For Lonza, these lipid technologies are not a strategic focus, being a relatively niche technology.

A growing market
Current industry trends are leading to increased demand for capsules in both pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement markets. Looking at market authorizations for innovative oral products in 2019 in the United States, the European Union (EU) and Japan, oral products accounted for between half and 42% of new product approvals. The global Softgel Capsules market size is projected to reach USD 5402.5 million by 2026, from USD 3963 million in 2021, at a CAGR of 5.3% during 2021-2026. (MarketWatch).

Lonza is witnessing a pipeline growth towards more complex molecules, such as dendrimer products, drug linkers for antibody-drug conjugates, and APIs with challenging solubility and bioavailability. Development and manufacturing of more effective drugs have boosted the number of highly potent APIs in development pipelines developed by companies of various sizes - nowadays mostly by small and virtual pharma companies.

In the Small Molecules business, Lonza have recently announced expansions to both API and drug product services. Lonza are investing into oral drug product development and manufacturing capabilities at the Tampa (FL) site, as well as particle engineering and drug product capabilities at the Bend (OR) site.

Investments and new CDMO in the sector
Earlier last October Lonza announced a CHF85m (93m USD) investment in its Capsules and Health Ingredients (CHI) Division, a dosage form delivery partner to the biopharma and health nutrition industry. The investment will enable the company to expand its overall production capacity of capsules within CHI's Capsugel® portfolio by 30 billion capsules annually while maintaining the high-quality standards with Lonza's Sigma Series. Production capacity will be increased across Lonza's global manufacturing and supply chain network to help further strengthen the company's position as a leading global supplier of capsules. The investment will allow a 15% increase in CHI's current capsule production capacity

In October, Delpharm announced its intention to acquire the GSK manufacturing facility in Pozna? in Poland. This site employs 700 people and is specialized in manufacturing high-potent solid, semi-solid forms and soft capsules.

In August 2020, Catalent announced plans to expand its site in Loma Hermosa, Buenos Aires, Argentina, adding more than 11,000 square feet of production space to handle cytotoxic and highly active products for prescription softgel manufacturing..

In June 2020, Catalent completed a $ 3.2-million expansion program at its consumer health manufacturing facilities in Strathroy, Canada and Sorocaba, Brazil to include new softgel encapsulation lines at each site.

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