AbbVie sells UK biologics plant to Pharmaron

March 2, 2021

Purchase expands CRO's plans for cell and gene therapy program

Pharmaron Beijing Co., Ltd., a contract research organization (CRO) and R&D service provider based in China, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Allergan Biologics Limited (ABL) in Liverpool, UK, for $118.7 million in cash from pharma giant AbbVie. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 of this year.

The ABL site features a state-of-the-art, cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) biomanufacturing facility with over 150 employees. The location has also established knowledge in cell and gene therapy (CGT) product development using a suspension system for manufacturing up to commercial scale, having held Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) biologic manufacturing license accreditation since 2007.

This deal is interconnected to Pharmaron’s recent acquisition of Absorption Systems (a nonclinical CRO) in the US for designing an integrated CGT services platform. This integrated program provides preclinical research, product development and commercial manufacturing services for CGT products.