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Pharmaron pays $118.7 million for AbbVie UK biomanufacturing site

1 Mar 2021

The Allergan Biologics site in Liverpool, UK

This transaction complements Pharmaron’s recent acquisition of Absorption Systems in the US for building an integrated cell and gene therapy services platform

China-based Pharmaron, an R&D service provider for the life sciences industry, has agreed to buy AbbVie's Allergan Biologics manufacturing plant in Liverpool, UK, for US$118.7 million in cash.

The move comes nine months after AbbVie closed its $63 billion buyout of Allergan, which saw the Big Pharma firm diversify its drug portfolio beyond its best-selling blockbuster product, Humira.

In a statement, Pharmaron said the transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, would be "highly synergistic" to its recent acquisition of Absorption Systems in the US for building an integrated cell and gene therapy services platform.

This integrated platform offers preclinical research, product development, and commercial manufacturing services for cell and gene therapy products.

The Liverpool site has held an MHRA biologic manufacturing license accreditation since 2007 and consists of a flexible cGMP biomanufacturing facility with more than 150 staff.

Leveraging the expertise in process R&D, cGMP manufacturing and advanced analytical capabilities in a broad range of biologics products, the Allergan site has further established a solid foundation and know-how in cell and gene therapy product development using a suspension system for manufacturing up to commercial scale.

"The addition ... will further strengthen our cell and gene therapy services platform and allow us to better serve our partners’ needs in these exciting and emerging therapies.," said Dr Boliang Lou, Chairman and CEO of Pharmaron. "We are committed to further expanding capabilities and capacities at the Liverpool site to meet growing unmet demand."

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