Newcastle drug companies have global steps in mind

A drug giant North East is ready to receive a huge injection of cash, is set to go global with a series of acquisitions. Within 12 months, the Newcastle-based Aesica will target the U.S. and the Far East with "large and significant funds" after winning the majority of new investment from European private equity house Silverfleet Capital. Sales and marketing director Alan Raymond said: "Companies in the U.S. are rationalizing operations and moving more in research and development. This is partly due to the rising cost of doing drugs and copyright issues as well, which can be very expensive. We thought that it could be used and we can move manufacturing to other countries and do it more cheaply by using local labor available. ' The company said it would pursue "aggressive acquisition strategy", which is expected to increase turnover of around £ 90m last year over £ 115m this year. It will focus on areas of the United States, where pharmaceutical companies are concentrated. Another possibility that India, especially Hyderabad and Bangalore region. The company, with 1,300 employees, including 165 in North East, confirms plans for new acquisitions after agreeing a deal to replace Silverfleet investment from private equity firm LDC, which supported the launch to buy out -of BASF in 2004. Dr. Robert Hardy, CEO of Aesica, said: "Three recent acquisition of manufacturing sites in Germany and Italy demonstrate our commitment to improving the services offered Aesica the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. "The support from Silverfleet Capital will prove invaluable as we continue to expand into new markets, expand and grow." The company doubled this year after the purchase of two German manufacturing plants and an Italian factory Belgian biopharma firm UCB. Aesica not confirm how much money was invested, but now one of the fastest growing companies in the UK and, in the last five years, has more than tripled turnover. In subsequent development, Aesica says it has formed an alliance with other leading pharmaceutical companies, Noramco, to provide the UK market with an alternative source of codeine - painkillers are widely used in medicine. It is made with hi-tech factory in Cramlington, and sell the Noramco the drug by a European-based sales team. Raymond said: "We can say that this tie-up with Noramco will provide additional security for workers in our factory. We are extremely proud that we actually do anything in the North East. ' The company admits it cause in the future for a "small increase" in jobs in Cramlington and Newcastle his headquarters.

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