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Evonik Taking On Biodegradable Polymers Business for $15M

Image courtesy of Evonik EvonikDA 17.10.2019 mas-foto.de HIGHRES_018.jpg
DURECT Corporation is selling its LACTEL PLGA-based polymers business to the German chemicals firm.

German specialty chemicals manufacturer Evonik entered into a deal to purchase the LACTEL brand of biodegradable, PLGA-based polymers from Birmingham, AL-based DURECT Corporation, a company release announced Monday. The $15 million transaction will expand Evonik’s portfolio of functional excipients and biomaterials.

“The acquisition of the LACTEL business will strengthen both our innovation growth field Healthcare Solutions and Evonik’s position as a globally leading CDMO for drug delivery solutions,” the leader of Evonik’s Nutrition & Care Division, Johann-Caspar Gammelin, said in a statement.

Gammelin said the business will be able to take advantage of fast-growing markets like advanced drug delivery, biomaterials for tissue engineering, and the 3D printing of implantable medical devices.

“We have confidence that Evonik will apply its resources and commitment to excellence to enable the LACTEL product line and supporting team members to thrive,” James E. Brown, president and CEO of DURECT, said in the release.

Evonik’s 12 global laboratories and their formulation, application, and regulatory experts will enable the LACTEL business to roll its products out to market more quickly. PLGA polymers are used as functional excipients in parenteral drug products and to control the biodegradation of implantable medical devices used in wound healing, orthopedic, cardiovascular and other medical applications.

“The integration of the LACTEL business into Evonik’s market-leading portfolio of functional excipients, biomaterials and integrated CDMO services will strengthen our position as a preferred development partner and solutions provider for pharmaceutical and medical device customers,” stated Thomas Riermeier, head of the Health Care business line at Evonik. “By welcoming LACTEL and members of their team into the Evonik family, we look forward to providing customers with even greater platform versatility as well as other value-adding services.”

DURECT and Evonik expect the sale to close in the first quarter of 2021 following the completion of customary closing conditions. 15 current DURECT employees will be offered positions with Evonik.

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