Novo purchases Xellia Pharmaceuticals for US$700m


Xellia manufactures antibiotics for multi-drug resistant infections using fermentation-based processes

Henrik Guertler

Henrik Guertler

Novo, the holding company of Danish insulin producer Novo Nordisk, has purchased Xellia Pharmaceuticals of Norway for around US$700m.

The company has been bought from 3i and other shareholders and Xellia will revert to Danish ownership with headquarters in Copenhagen.

Since its spin-out from Alpharma in 2008, Xellia’s management and 3i have transformed the business from an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer to a specialist pharmaceutical company focused on antibiotics. The company supplies Vancomycin and Colistimethate Sodium (CMS).

Xellia’s products are manufactured using fermentation-based biological processes at facilities in Denmark, Norway, Hungary and China.

The firm has a substantial pipeline of generic anti-infective treatments, which will progress towards commercialisation in the coming years. The company said Novo’s investment would allow it to enhance its focus on R&D and expand its global manufacturing footprint to up-scale its finished-dosage-form (FDF) business.

Xellia strongly complements our portfolio of significant life science companies

Henrik Gürtler, CEO of Novo, which is also a majority shareholder in Novozymes and natural ingredients supplier Chr. Hansen Holding, said: ‘Xellia strongly complements our portfolio of significant life science companies in which we have major investments. This acquisition is well aligned with our strategy, and is one of the largest investments made by Novo to date.

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‘The products that Xellia supplies are critical life-saving treatments for many patients around the globe, and are manufactured by use of fermentation technologies, which is a manufacturing approach similar to that of Novo Nordisk, Novozymes and Chr. Hansen. Xellia is a leader in its business area, and a company with a long Scandinavian heritage, which we are proud to bring back into long-term Danish ownership.’ The deal should be finalised during the third quarter of 2013.