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8 Jan 2014

SCM Strengthens US Presence

UK-based sterile manufacturing specialist SCM Pharma has bolstered its North American profile with the appointment of a US-based business development manager.


Derek Richards will oversee the contract development and manufacturing organisation’s (CDMO) business development activities across the territory and will be responsible for growing its overall US footprint.


Previously of Aptuit, Novartis and Schering Plough, Derek brings an impressive track record in sterile fill finish and formulation development to his new role.


The move comes just weeks after SCM Pharma’s UK-based clinical development and manufacturing facility was approved at the first attempt by FDA.


The inspection was triggered by the company supporting British specialist healthcare company BTG in preparation for the commercial launch of Varithena (polidocanol injectable foam), after providing clinical development consultancy for the product for several years.


Dianne Sharp, managing director at SCM Pharma, said: “The minute we knew FDA were due to inspect our clinical headquarters in Prudhoe, we recognised the need to strengthen our US presence as the approval will no doubt trigger more demand for our small-scale clinical and contract manufacturing services in North America.


“As soon as Derek came on our radar, we knew he was the ideal person for this role. His experience and expertise in the sterile and clinical manufacturing area is a perfect fit for our business and his energy will help us realise our ambitions to expand our client-base in the US.


“We already work with big pharma and charitable organisations in the US on clinical development projects and we expect our low volume ampoule and vial filling services will be of interest to many companies looking to run trials or supply products in Europe,” added Dianne.


The award-winning SCM Pharma already works with several companies in the US and has built its reputation around the sterile filling of novel products, difficult processes and applications and dangerous substances such as potent products requiring high containment.


An experienced commercial executive, Derek has worked across the pharmaceutical sector for around 20 years and will head-up the CDMO’s US sales operations from the East Coast.


He said: “I first became aware of SCM Pharma from conversations at a Parenteral Drug Association meeting and began to hear more about their capabilities and expertise in the sterile filling area.


“I was immediately attracted to the company as it has a real entrepreneurial spirit and can do attitude culture backed up by industry leading technical expertise and strong quality systems.


“My aim is to bring US pharmaceutical and biotech firms to this highly flexibility UK-based contract manufacturer that over delivers on its commitments. I am very excited to be an integral part of SCM’s US growth strategy and look forward to helping the business meet its commercial objectives.”


SCM Pharma’s FDA approval topped off a milestone year for the company after gaining an MHRA licence for its new commercial manufacturing facility last summer, which complements its clinical manufacturing facility nearby.


Independently-owned, most of its clients’ projects involve the aseptic filling and terminal sterilisation of liquids and powders into vials, ampoules and syringes.

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