Sector News

Sanofi sells 50-year-old manufacturing plant in Japan to CDMO Adragos Pharma

October 15, 2022
Life sciences

Sanofi is offloading a manufacturing plant that’s currently delivering all its medicines for the Japanese market.

The French drugmaker has signed a deal to sell its manufacturing site in Kawagoe, Japan, close to Tokyo, to German CDMO Adragos Pharma, the buyer said (PDF) Thursday. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms. A Sanofi spokesperson told Fierce Pharma that the drugmaker will transfer the business to Adragos through a company split by the first quarter of 2023.

The Kawagoe factory produces 73 products. All Sanofi products for the Japanese market are delivered from the location, Sanofi’s website shows.

Under a separate long-term supply agreement, Adragos will continue to manufacture products for Sanofi for five years and become a strategic partner for the Japanese market. The 200 employees at the site will stay on board under the Adragos flag, the companies said.

The site has more than 50 years of history manufacturing drugs. It currently manufactures oral solids and sterile liquids and performs packing and retesting for Japan and Asian markets. The plant occupies a plot of land that’s about 50 acres, according to Sanofi’s website.

The current site utilization leaves room to develop more manufacturing capacity, the Sanofi spokesperson said. For its part, Adragos said it intends to further expand the site’s capabilities for Sanofi and potential future customers.

Once the transaction is complete, the Kawagoe plant will be Adragos’ second facility in Japan, which the company identifies as one of its three “core markets.” The CDMO’s Toride campus, also near Tokyo, performs visual inspection and packaging for Japan and other Asian countries.

Meanwhile, its plant in Livron, France, manufactures and packages sterile liquids and suppositories. Its site in Leipzig, Germany, takes care of semi-solids production and packaging of solids.

Going forward, the new Kawagoe plant will give Adragos production capabilities in both solid and injectable formulations at one site.

Sanofi doesn’t have a large presence in Japan today. Its total 2021 revenue only ranked nineteenth in the country with a market share of 1.8%, according to its annual report.

All told, Japan made up 4.4% of Sanofi’s 2021 sales, or 1.66 billion euros. That figure represented growth of 1.7% at unchanged exchange rates but a 4.5% decrease on a reported basis thanks to a weak Japanese yen.

By Angus Liu


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