SGS acquires live biotherapeutics focused CDMO

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Atstock Productions
© GettyImages/Atstock Productions

Related tags SGS Live biotherapeutics Drug substances

SGS, the Swiss-based testing, inspection and certification company, has acquired Quay Pharma, a UK based pharmaceutical industry targeted contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO).

The deal is set to provide Quay, which was established in 2002, with the investment to further grow its extensive range of services and capabilities in the support of clients through the various stages of pharmaceutical clinical development, from pre-clinical to formulation, dosage form design and optimization, as well as clinical trial manufacture and supply.

Prior to this move, SGS did not have any CDMO activities in its portfolio. This is a new step for the company into a market in which it wanted to access, a spokesperson told us.

Quay Pharma CEO, Maireadh Pedersen, said that, as part of SGS, the CDMO will be able to accelerate its growth strategy and further develop its range of services, with the introduction of additional capabilities such as biopharmaceutical analysis and specialist microbiological capabilities.

“At the same time, we will retain our existing management and dedicated specialist teams to ensure we continue to offer our clients the highest levels of service, expertise and technical focus.”

In particular, said the parties, the deal will enhance the continuing development of Quay's “pioneering”​ work in live biotherapeutics (LPBs). LPBs focus on the use of microbes to illicit a pharmaceutical response, specifically targeted at the immune system.

According to Quay, it was the first globally licensed CDMO able to support this new field of pharmaceutical therapies.

Formulation development and clinical manufacture

The company, which works with both small and large molecules, said it has also built a strong reputation for the formulation development and clinical manufacture of unusual and difficult to handle drug substances.

It has continued to invest to support ongoing expansion. In December 2020, it set up its US operation, opening a development and manufacturing facility in the Greater Boston area, while October 2020 saw Quay expand its UK operations, with a new laboratory and office facility located close to its UK headquarters in Deeside Industrial Park.

The CDMO will become part of SGS Health Science and be the company’s global Centre of Excellence for Formulation, Research and Development. The acquisition is part of SGS’s strategy of increasing its scope of services to support customers across the health science supply chain.

Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS said the move will further align the Swiss group’s global network more closely to TIC megatrends. “Quay Pharma adds a significant level of competence to the group and allows us to offer more comprehensive and complex, high value-added services to our customers.”

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