Acambis expands manufacturing capability with acquisition of US-based fill/finish facility
Acambis expands manufacturing capability with acquisition of US-based fill/finish facility
10 May 2005
Cambridge, UK and Cambridge, Massachusetts ? Acambis plc (?Acambis") (LSE: ACM, NASDAQ: ACAM) announces that it has acquired a US-based fill/finish facility from BioReliance Corporation (?BioReliance"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Invitrogen Corporation (NASDAQ: IVGN).
With the acquisition, Acambis intends to develop a commercial-scale fill/finish capability suitable for many of the vaccines in its development pipeline, which includes the ACAM2000 and MVA3000 smallpox vaccines, ChimeriVax-JE, ChimeriVax-West Nile and C. difficile. This acquisition fits with Acambis' strategy of creating a complete internal supply chain with the objective of enabling it to take a vaccine from development to market. Having a capability located entirely in the US is critical to enabling Acambis to provide support for the US Government's wide-ranging biodefence and other preparedness initiatives. Worldwide, there is a very limited capacity for fill/finish of live, viral vaccines.
BioReliance was one of only two commercial contract manufacturers filling live, viral vaccines in the US. To acquire BioReliance's fill/finish assets, Acambis will pay $3m up front and a further $4.5m in 12 equal instalments between 2006 and 2017. Acambis will also assume responsibility for the 12-year lease. No employees are being transferred to Acambis as a result of the transaction.
In addition to providing a fill/finish capability, the 58,000 sq ft stand-alone facility in Rockville, MD offers the capacity for small-scale manufacturing and process development, and includes approximately 14,000 sq ft of space for future expansion. The facility was completed in 2000 and is designed to produce liquid or lyophilised (freeze-dried) pharmaceutical goods at a scale sufficient for clinical trials. Acambis will undertake an expansion programme with the intention of establishing GMP-compliant fill/finish at a commercial-scale. This will involve an estimated capital investment of $4-6m. Acambis will ultimately recruit around 30 to 35 employees to be based at the facility, working primarily in Manufacturing Operations and Quality Assurance/Quality Control. Additional near-term operating costs are expected to be more than offset by savings in subcontractor costs in the medium to longer term.
Gordon Cameron, Chief Executive Officer of Acambis, said:
?We are now fully integrated for the first time with the capability to take a vaccine from concept to commercialisation. In securing this strategically important asset, we aim to gain greater control of our costs and timelines, and maximise value by retaining yet more of the manufacturing margin. We also intend to be able to conduct and complete production of our investigational ACAM2000 smallpox vaccine in the US, thus providing a turn-key solution for the future needs of US Government and Acambis."
Acambis plc
Gordon Cameron, Chief Executive Officer: Tel +1 (617) 761 4200
David Lawrence, Chief Financial Officer: Tel: +44 (0) 1223 275 300
Lyndsay Wright, VP, Communications and Investor Relations: Tel +44 (0) 1223 275 300
Financial Dynamics
David Yates/Lucy Briggs: Tel +44 (0) 20 7831 3113
About Acambis
Acambis is a leading developer of vaccines to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Recognised internationally as the leading producer of smallpox vaccines, Acambis is developing an investigational smallpox vaccine, ACAM2000, and is manufacturing emergency-use stockpiles of this investigational vaccine for the US Government and other governments around the world. It is also developing an attenuated smallpox vaccine, MVA3000, under contracts with the US National Institutes of Health. Acambis is establishing a travel vaccines franchise through its US-based subsidiary Berna Products Corporation, which markets Vivotif?, the world's only licensed oral typhoid vaccine, in North America. Acambis has other potential travel vaccines in development and is also developing an investigational vaccine against the West Nile virus, which has spread to 47 US States in the last six years.
Acambis is based in Cambridge, UK and Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. Its primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange (ACM) and its shares are listed in the form of American Depositary Receipts on NASDAQ (ACAM). More information is available at
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