Pharming, Sanofi Extend Partnership to Manufacture Ruconest

Marisa Wexler, MS avatar

by Marisa Wexler, MS |

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Pharming Group and Sanofi have renewed an agreement for the manufacturing of Ruconest (conestat alfa), Pharming’s approved treatment for swelling attacks in people with hereditary angioedema (HAE).

The two companies have been working together for more than a decade, and now have agreed to extend the collaboration for the next five years.

“We are very pleased to renew our long-standing downstream processing partnership with Sanofi,” Sijmen de Vries, Pharming’s CEO, said in a press release.

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“Over the last 11 years, Sanofi has consistently proven to be the right partner for Pharming with continued punctual delivery to the highest quality and we look forward to continuing our collaboration,” de Vries said.

Pharming previously announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility for the production of Ruconest in the Pivot Park life sciences business campus in Oss, southern Netherlands.

Due to the new agreement — and after careful analyses of various costs — the company said it has decided it still will complete the building’s construction as planned, but will be using it for purposes other than manufacturing.

“As a result of this renewed manufacturing partnership, we can now fully focus on our core competencies; the development and commercialization of our products and investing our human and financial capital in pursuing additional near-term growth opportunities through the in-licensing or acquisition of late-stage products,” de Vries said.

“We continue to be excited to become part of the Pivot Park biopharmaceutical community, albeit with a presence initially focusing on Quality Control activities, instead of downstream production,” de Vries added.

This change in plans is expected to save about $40 million in capital investment, according to Pharming. The company previously stated that the opening of the manufacturing facility was expected to create at least 40 jobs. It did not specify how the change will affect planned hiring.

In HAE, a protein called C1-inhibitor, or C1-INH, is missing or defective, ultimately giving rise to the disease’s symptoms. Ruconest is a recombinant, or lab-made, version of human C1-INH protein that is produced in rabbits and then isolated from their milk.

Earlier this year, Pharming struck a deal with NewBridge Pharmaceuticals to distribute and commercialize Ruconest in the Middle East and North Africa.