Roquette expands into Brazilian pharma excipient space

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Ingredients manufacturer Roquette says it will acquire Blancer’s Brazil-based excipient division, Itacel, to meet market demand.

“Itacel’s global market position will allow Roquette to expand its footprint in North America, Brazil and Latin America, in response to growing pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets,” the firm said.

Roquette, which has predominantly focused on plant-based ingredients, said the acquisition is its first in pharmaceutical excipients.

Under the agreed terms, Roquette will purchase Brazil-based Itacel in full, including its manufacturing plant with research and development (R&D) facilities, and 300 employees.

The firm will also acquire Itacel’s technology in binders, fillers and disintegrants.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Excipients portfolio

Itacel’s excipients portfolio includes microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and croscarmellose, which are used in oral dose tablets and capsules.

These excipients are found in over the counter applications like aspirin, and prescription medications for acute or chronic diseases.

The colloidal MCC is primarily used in liquid applications, such as cough syrup and paediatric formulations.

A Roquette spokesperson told in-PharmaTechnologist the companies’ portfolios and technologies are a good match: “Itacel’s cellulose-based technology is complementary with the derivatives of starch in which Roquette already has a strong expertise.”

The companies’ portfolios include one crossover, sodium starch glycolate (SSG).

“Roquette views this as an advantage due to Itacel’s specification (slightly different than Roquette’s) and the ability to create robust business continuity plans for this product line,” said the spokesperson.

Itacel said its decision to divest its excipients business will allow it to concentrate on active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

“We believe this is the best moment to do this negotiation, mainly because we decided to focus our expansion in the two other divisions of the group that became very important for us: medicines and APIs,” said Blancer CEO Sérgio Frangioni.

The acquisition is expected to be finalised in Q3, 2017. 

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