Alcami Grows with Purchase of TriPharm, Equity Investment


Alcami logo

Alcami Corp., a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) headquartered in Durham and with major operations in Wilmington, has expanded its drug-making capacity by acquiring TriPharm Services, a new CDMO in Morrisville, near Research Triangle Park.

TriPharm’s new manufacturing facility, expected to begin operations in the second half of 2020, will give Alcami prefilled syringe capabilities and sterile fill-finish and lyophilization (freeze-drying) capacity to meet growing demand by pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies, Alcami said in a news release. 

“Our combination with TriPharm is an important next step in the execution of Alcami’s strategy to focus investments across our network to better serve rapidly growing specialized market segments,” said George Van Kula, Alcami’s interim chief executive officer. “TriPharm expands our existing capabilities and provides additional equipment lines that will allow us to better serve the fast-developing biologics market segment.”

The acquisition follows the recently announced $17 million expansion of Alcami’s sterile fill-finish facility in Charleston, S.C.

“As drug makers increasingly shift their focus toward more specialized, targeted therapeutics, and current injectable drug shortages hamper patient care, sterile fill-finish operations at proper scale are highly valued,” said Patrick D. Walsh, TriPharm’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Our Research Triangle Park facility is designed to address this highly specialized industry demand.”

Alcami building entry
-- Alcami photo

The 32,000 square-foot TriPharm facility has four isolator filling suites, “the highest level of control available for Grade A processing of client biologic and small molecule products,” and eight multi-purpose cleanrooms to support manufacturing operations, the company said in October 2019, when it announced the facility’s commissioning. 

Alcami’s board chairman, Harry Kraemer, said, “TriPharm represents a compelling opportunity for Alcami to capitalize on building an industry-leading position in attractive and growing end-markets, as pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies increasingly rely on contract development and manufacturing organizations to manage highly technical sterile fill-finish operations.”

New equity investment

Along with the TriPharm acquisition, funds affiliated with Chicago-based Madison Dearborn Partners, Alcami’s majority owner, made an additional equity investment to fund Alcami’s growth plan.

Also, the former majority owner of TriPharm, Ampersand Capital Partners of Wellesley, Mass., rolled a portion of its TriPharm ownership interest into an ownership interest in Alcami. 

Alcami declined to disclose the figures involved in those two transactions.

Founders have N.C. roots

TriPharm was co-founded by North Carolina pharmaceutical veterans Walsh and Eric Evans, the company’s chief financial officer, in 2019 to address a global shortage of flexible and scalable manufacturing of injectable pharmaceuticals.

Previously Walsh was CEO of Avista Pharma Solutions of Durham, before its sale to Cambrex Corp. of East Rutherford, N.J., in January 2019 for $252 million. Before Avista, he was the CEO of Wilmington-based AAIPharma Services, a forerunner of Alcami.

Before co-founding TriPharm with Walsh, Evans held executive positions in finance at Avista, Mayne Pharma U.S., AAIPharma Services, Patheon and Novartis.  

A growing footprint in N.C.

With the acquisition of TriPharm, Alcami now has about 900 employees at six lab or manufacturing sites and at three international sales offices. Nearly 500 of those employees are located at the three North Carolina sites: about 40 in Durham, about 430 in Wilmington and about 20 in Morrisville, a company spokesman said.

Alcami helps biologics and pharmaceutical companies of all sizes deliver therapies to patients faster, from concept to commercialization. Its services include solutions for development and manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients, solid-state chemistry, formulation development, analytical development and testing, clinical and commercial finished dosage form manufacturing, packaging and stability.

The company was formed in 2013 with the merger of AAIPharma Services of Wilmington and Cambridge Major Laboratories of Germantown, Wis. It was rebranded as Alcami in 2016.

Barry Teater, NCBiotech Writer
Tue, 02/04/2020 - 12:10