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Scottish CMO opens US office

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Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services is set to open an office in North America in response to continued demand from US-based biotechnology companies for its vial-filling expertise.

The sterile filling specialist will open a commercial site in Cambridge, Boston, MA, to support its clients on both the East and West Coast, as well as giving the contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) a base for reaching new customers in this territory. The company is currently on a recruitment drive to strengthen its US commercial team.

Increased demand for both liquid and lyophilised formulations in injectable dosage forms at Symbiosis has been driven mainly by biotech firms looking for an outsourcing partner with small-scale aseptic manufacturing capabilities to support clinical trials.

Colin MacKay, CEO at Symbiosis Pharmaceutical Services, said: “Given Cambridge is the epicentre of the global biotech community, it is the ideal location for us to open an office in the US.

“Back in 2015, we took the decision to strategically focus on the North American market after we identified a surge in funding for early stage biotech companies, which are exactly the type of drug development company that are best suited to seek our manufacturing scale and specialist capabilities.

“As expected, our expertise in filling biologic and small molecule products, combined with our ability to offer rapid access to sterile manufacturing slots, has been very well received by pre-clinical and phase I-II biotech and pharma companies, which has helped to fuel our steady growth.

“Since strengthening our US-focused personnel and developing our relationships with networks like ISPE and MassBio, we have significantly grown our US client base which is projected to account for around half of our revenues in 2017. Opening the office on the US East Coast is the next stage of the company’s growth strategy.”

Over the last 12 months, Symbiosis has grown revenues by 40pc and has also continued to recruit steadily, increasing staff by 30pc to meet demand for its aseptic fill/finish service.

Colin added: “At a macro level, demand for biologic and highly potent products is likely being driven by the increased emphasis on the development of treatments for small patient populations in the case of orphan indications, new oncology products requiring containment capabilities and novel tailored personalised medicines.

“Those kind of products require specific GMP manufacturing skills for the small-scale production of sterile batches for clinical trials, hence the clear uptake in demand for what we do at Symbiosis.”

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