Novartis sells two manufacturing plants

March 3, 2022

Novartis has sold two manufacturing plants — one to U.S.-based contract manufacturer Sterling Pharma Solutions and another to Delpharm, a contract manufacturer based out of France. 

The sale between Novartis and Sterling is expected to close between October and December of 2022. The Irish CDMO will get Novartis’ 111-acre campus in Ringaskiddy, a small village in County Cork in the southern part of Ireland. Sterling will keep the existing Novartis team at the Ringaskiddy location, about 250 people, on during the transition. The Ringaskiddy site currently produces drug ingredients for a range of therapeutic areas.

Across the pond, Novartis’ generics unit, Sandoz, has inked an agreement to sell CDMO Delpharm one of its generics plants in Boucherville, a suburb of Montreal. This plant is the largest sterile injectables production facility in Canada and provides lifesaving medicines to the Canadian and U.S. healthcare systems, mostly hospitals.

The sales won’t get in the way of Novartis drugs supplies at either facility. As part of the sale, Sterling and Novartis will shake on an ongoing supply agreement. Delpharm, for its part, will continue producing Sandoz Canada products at the plant, which is set to be its second production site in Canada.

Since October, Novartis has been mulling overselling or spinning off Sandoz. According to the company’s CEO, Vas Narasimhan, Novartis began a strategic review of Sandoz to decide if it’s still a good fit with the company’s long-term growth plans around the time of the announcement. 

Under Narasimhan, Novartis has sharpened its focus on innovator drugs such as gene therapies, which could impact its decision about whether to keep Sandoz under its sphere. Despite turning towards higher-value drugs like gene therapies, Novartis’ earnings fell somewhat in 2021. 

>>>>>>Read more about Sterling in our latest profile — Sterling Pharma Solutions: Paving a better way