Patheon has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Agere Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Bend, Oregon, that specialises in improving absorption rate of medications (bioavailability).

Agere helps customers to improve delivery of their medications through fundamental science, solubilisation expertise and solubilisation technologies.

The Oregon facility is expected to serve as a solubility centre of excellence and become part of Patheon’s pharmaceutical development services (PDS) operations.

By combining Agere’s solubility expertise with Patheon’s large-scale global network of scientists, development and manufacturing capabilities, clients seeking to improve drug absorption rates will have support from early development through to commercialisation.

Patheon president of global pharmaceutical development services Michael Lehmann said: "We see a growing need to offer customers an integrated, agnostic approach to address their development and drug delivery needs.

"Agere adds a new capability and allows us to provide customers with formulation expertise for solubility enhancement."

In the last year, Patheon significantly expanded its capabilities through several key acquisitions, including the addition of a large-scale facility in Greenville, North Carolina.

Patheon’s PDS solutions offer advanced scientific and pre-formulation services to quickly characterise drug substances, develop and implement laboratory methodologies, and generate data to enable efficient investigational new drug filings.

With the addition of Agere’s solubility expertise, Patheon will be well positioned to compete in the low solubility market segment.

Agere president Marshall Crew, PhD said: "Our team remains committed to the organisation and is focused on implementing a strategy that will help customers address complex solubility issues at any stage of the development lifecycle."

Patheon and Agere have excellent track records with regulatory authorities, and are widely recognised as leaders in quality. The completion of the transaction is subject to a customary regulatory review.