Blu buy bolsters Puracap in US softgel market

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Puracap has bought Blu Pharmaceuticals and its Puerto Rican manufacturing site and plans to double oral dose production capacity.

The acquisition of Blu Pharmaceutical and its subsidiary Blu Caribe last week adds oral tablet and capsule dosage forms to Puracap’s softgel manufacturing capabilities. It also provides the firm with greater access to the US market, president Sean Weeks told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.

“We already have a US FDA compliant soft gel manufacturing site in Wuhan, China and currently market over 25 different OTC pharmaceutical products into the US market from that location,” he said, but the deal includes the addition of Blu’s 145,000 sq ft cGMP compliant manufacturing facility in Dorado, Puerto Rico, and 185,000 sq ft of warehouse and distribution space in Franklin, Kentucky.

The merged company – to be known as Puracap International – will initially have an annual capacity in excess of three billion doses, but Weeks said there are “plans to double that capacity through infrastructure investments and market expansion of owned and acquired ANDA’s as well as contract manufacturing.”

Softgel market

The merger is the latest movement in the capsule space over the past few years. In 2012, Qualicaps was acquired by Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, while months later Capsugel upped its dosage forms business by buying Scottish contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Encap.

Concurrently, CDMO Catalent has been bolstering its softgel capacity through acquisitions in China and Brazil, while rival contractor Patheon paid $255m for Banner Pharmacaps in 2012 and subsequently subsequently sold its Mexican operations to OTC specialist Perrigo.

Weeks told us his company’s acquisition places Puracap International among the major players in this space, with the opportunity to provide unique and broad portfolio options in segments we are strategically aligned with currently with the Blu Pharmaceuticals client base. 

US government supply, tech transfers and new product development will provide us with flexible and collaborative project needs,” he continued, adding: “We can offer contract manufacturing for clients lacking in capacity.”

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