Patheon brings bioavailability service to EU with plant expansion

CDMO Patheon ($PTI) is betting on an expansion in demand for early-stage development, boosting its capacity at an Oxfordshire, U.K., facility.

The site currently provides proof-of-concept and first-in-man development programs for oral dose forms, and in Phase I of its expansion, Patheon plans to outfit the plant to host its SoluPath platform, a fixed-price offering that provides bioavailability services to clients. That means installing a new HME screening tool and spray-dryer to supplement existing technologies at the site, called Milton Park.

"The introduction of SoluPath into Milton Park's existing capabilities is an exciting addition to Patheon's service offering in Europe," Robin Platt, the site's operations director, said in a statement. "Poorly soluble compounds are increasingly common in pharmaceutical development, and we believe SoluPath provides a mechanism for identifying the most effective way of improving bioavailability of molecule in these cases."

Patheon has already found success with the platform in North America, the company says, and expanding its reach in Europe is part of Patheon's strategy to boost revenue abroad.

The Canadian contractor has been stretching out its services over the past year, becoming a market leader in gelcaps after its $255 million buyout of Banner Pharmacaps last year and expanding its manufacturing footprint to include plants in Latin America.

- read Patheon's announcement