Patheon announces second acquisition in past week

Durham-based drug manufacturer Patheon on Monday announced its second acquisition in the past week, saying it will buy a 53-employee Oregon company for an undisclosed price.

Patheon said that acquiring privately-held Agere Pharmaceuticals fits Patheon’s strategy of providing an integrated full service company for pharmaceutical development.

Patheon, which manufactures drugs for pharmaceutical companies, has been on an acquisition spree during the past year as it consolidates sub-specialties.

Agere specializes in the science of how patients absorb medicines, known as bioavailability, through a process called solubilization. Agere’s facility in Bend, Ore., will become Patheon’s center of excellence for solubility and will focus on improving patients’ drug absorption rates.

Last week Patheon said it would buy IRIX, a 180-employee South Carolina drug maker.

Patheon has more than 8,000 employees worldwide, including about 1,700 in North Carolina. In addition to its Durham headquarters, Patheon has manufacturing facilities in High Point and Greenville.

In February Patheon said it plans to add 488 jobs over five year at its Greenville site, where it currently employs more than 1,000 workers. The company could receive more than $6.3 million in state incentives if it meets hiring targets.

In April Patheon acquired Gallus BioPharmaceuticals, a Missouri drug manufacturer specializing in biologics.

Patheon is a division of privately held DPx holdings, also based in Durham.

Murawski: 919-829-8932