News Feature | August 28, 2014

Novo Nordisk Acquires Manufacturing Facility From Olympus Biotech

By Cyndi Root

Novo Nordisk announced in a press release that it has acquired a manufacturing facility in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, from Olympus Biotech. Primarily used for mammalian cell manufacturing, all production ceased at the site early in 2014. Novo Nordisk will produce active pharmaceutical ingredients at the facility for its biopharmaceutical products. The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction.                            

Olympus Biotech Facility

Established in 1989, the New Hampshire facility had expanded by 2006 and Olympus Biotech purchased it in 2011.

According to the Valley News, a local New Hampshire newspaper, Olympus sold the facility because it did not meet its goals. The Japanese company made aggressive efforts to find a buyer for the 180,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. Those efforts including pricing the site more attractively.

Olympus spokesman, Jon Stone, said, “We’re not selling the plant because the quality of the work is not high. It is purely an economic decision. Olympus is getting out of the biotech area.” 

Former Stryker Plant

Olympus bought the facility from Stryker Biotech for $60 million in 2011. Under Stryker, the facility manufactured a bone-growth product, OP-1. The agent, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a limited basis, is distributed widely in other countries. In 2006, expecting full approval from the FDA and preparing to double production at the plant, Stryker became involved in controversy with the FBI over illegally marketing OP-1, derailing its product plans and causing it to sell the plant to Olympus.

Novo Nordisk Manufacturing 

Novo Nordisk calls its manufacturing efforts, Product Supply. The company seeks to control its own drug supply chain by manufacturing its drugs, including active ingredients. Its Product Supply team includes over 9,700 employees in six countries engaged in formulation, filling, assembly, inspection, and packaging. The company seeks to construct new facilities and acquire existing facilities to make sure that its drugs reach the market.

In Denmark, Novo Nordisk has 6,800 people working at seven sites. It has almost 3,000 people working at its sites in the U.S., Brazil, France, China, and Japan. Production is divided into Diabetes Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API),

Diabetes Finished Products (DFP), Devices & Supply Chain Management, Biopharm, and Product Supply Management and Support.