Wednesday, November 23, 2022

C&EN: Snapdragon to be acquired by Cambrex

Via C&EN's Rick Mullin, this interesting news: 
Two months after US Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) derailed the acquisition of Snapdragon Chemistry, a flow chemistry specialist, by the Chinese pharmaceutical services firm Asymchem, Snapdragon has a new buyer.

Cambrex, a leading US pharmaceutical services firm, says it has agreed to acquire Massachusetts-based Snapdragon for an undisclosed sum. Cambrex specializes in the contract manufacture of small-molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and operates several plants in the US and Europe.

Snapdragon will complement Cambrex’s own continuous flow chemistry team, based in High Point, North Carolina, says Brandon Fincher, chief strategy officer at Cambrex. “It’s a technology and technique that has come in handy on a few projects with important customers of ours, and it is a part of the market growing faster than batch processing,” he says. Cambrex views Snapdragon as an ideal strategic fit, Fincher says: “best in class” at flow process development and “ideally positioned right outside of Boston.”

Snapdragon CEO Matthew Bio says his firm will continue to operate with current staff and leadership. “It is still evolving, but their intent is to maintain the brand and maintain our group intact,” Bio says of Cambrex. Snapdragon has 74 employees, including 31 PhD scientists. It recently commissioned a 4,700 m2 research and manufacturing facility in Waltham, Massachusetts.

What I think is notable about the Snapdragon story is that the US government stepped in to stop the sale to Asymchem. That Cambrex (owned by a UK private equity firm) bought them is actually not very surprising, i.e. Cambrex has bought a lot of companies, why not Snapdragon? 

Will there ever be further Chinese interest in acquistion of American pharma manufacturers? Hard to say, but (hindsight being 20/20) Snapdragon was the obvious choice (i.e. a leader in a technology that is expected to play a very important role in the future of pharma manufacturing.) Can't think of any others, so I predict there will be no further American governmental intervention in Chinese acquistions in this sector either... 

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