US SAFC and Cherokee form pharma services partnership

01 June 2009 23:38  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS news)--SAFC, the fine chemicals business of US-based Sigma-Aldrich, and Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, a US-based manufacturer, will co-market and co-sell bulk pharmaceutical raw materials, the companies said on Monday.

The companies said the exclusive partnership will combine SAFC’s global sourcing and production capabilities with Cherokee’s analytical laboratories, large-scale current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities.

“In marrying SAFC’s sourcing capabilities, which bring significant cost and quality benefits to the table, with Cherokee Pharmaceuticals’ expertise in analytical testing and cGMP manufacture and storage, we are providing top level, high-quality resourcing that will support our US customers throughout their respective supply chains, enabling them to both streamline and improve their risk-mitigation strategies,” said SAFC president Gilles Cottier.

The Cherokee Pharmaceuticals site in Riverside, Pennsylvania, was acquired from US pharmaceutical major Merck on January 1, 2008. It continues to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients for Merck through a five-year supply agreement while expanding its customer base to include other companies.

“This strategic partnership allows us to provide an integrated sourcing, distribution process to our customers who seek a secure supply chain,” said Murvin Lackey, president of distribution for Cherokee.

The status of Cherokee’s parent, the Philadelphia-based industrial services company PWRT, as a company owned by a US ethnic minority was a key driver in SAFC’s decision to partner, according to Ed Roullard, vice president of supply solutions at SAFC.

Many US government procurement contracts cannot be obtained unless ethnic minority-owned vendors benefit in one way or another, he explained, and Cherokee’s participation would provide pharma customers with the means to fulfill the requirement.

Initial products will include processing aids, excipients and general raw materials for small- and large-molecule drugs, vaccines and diagnostics, said Roullard.

“We think there is opportunity to leverage our global exposure to vendors, our knowledge of those vendors, as well as bring demand of different pharmaceutical customers together in this partnership to lower overall costs,” he said.

The service will also allow customers to consolidate their vendors, Roullard said.

“We have a large number of pharma customers coming to us saying, ‘You know, I’m buying this excipient from one vendor, that from another vendor. This marketplace is so diverse, I need someone to pull this all together, he said.

The operation will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he added. Cherokee is three hours or less of driving time from half of all US pharmaceutical production.

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By: Clay Boswell
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