Alkermes Signs Contract Manufacturing Deal for Its Irish Plant

Alkermes Plc said it will manufacture drugs for “one of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies” in a deal that may generate from $15 million to $20 million in annual revenue by 2016.

Alkermes will make the finished product in Athlone, Ireland, at a plant acquired through its merger with Elan Drug Technologies, the company said today in an e-mailed statement. Alkermes, whose headquarters officially move to Dublin from Waltham, Massachusetts, today, declined to name the customer.

Alkermes bought EDT, a drug technology and formulation company, from Dublin-based Elan Corp. for about $1 billion. The deal was completed Sept. 16. The two are a “complimentary fit” as Alkermes shifts to discovering and developing its own drugs, Chief Executive Officer Richard Pops said in an interview.

“We thought under our stewardship it could grow and flourish even more,” Pops said of the former Elan company.

The combined company has more than 450 employees in Ireland and 1,200 worldwide. Pops said there won’t be any immediate changes to the workforce in Ireland, and he expects future growth there. Alkermes also has a research and development center in Waltham and manufacturing facilities in Gainesville, Georgia, and Wilmington, Ohio.

The company will be looking to purchase “drug-product opportunities” and not technologies for delivering medicines to their targets, he said. The company’s drug-delivery technologies can make therapies for chronic diseases such as central nervous system disorders, where patients must take medicines over a long period of time, more effective, he said.

Seeking Partners

Alkermes is looking for partners for its treatment for opioid-induced constipation and a once-monthly schizophrenia medicine, both of which are still in development. Talks are “going well” and the company isn’t in a hurry as they await data from pivotal trials, Pops said.

“Here we have novel, patented drugs in later stages of development and they’re unpartnered,” he said. “We think we’ll have the pick of the litter,” in terms of partners once the data become available.

For fiscal 2012, which ends in March, Pops said he still expects revenue to increase to $460 million to $480 million from $450 million this year. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding one-time items, will be $70 million to $90 million, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Allison Connolly in Frankfurt at aconnolly4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net.

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