June 03--Local investors say the $110 million sale of Albuquerque'sOso BiopharmaceuticalsManufacturing LLC to a New York firm can help generate more investor interest in New Mexico's growing biotech industry.
Albany Molecular Research Inc. announced the cash acquisition Monday morning, representing one of the largest purchases to date of a homegrown biotechnology company in New Mexico.
AMRI provides global contract research and manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, with operations in North America, Europe and Asia. The publicly traded company generated $210 million in revenue in 2013.
Oso Bio, which launched in Albuquerque in 1984, makes injectable drugs on contract at a 215,000-square-foot facility with roughly 400 employees. The company projects between $58 million and $60 million in revenue this year.
"The sale is terrific for the company and for Albuquerque," said Albuquerque Bio-science Center founder Stuart Rose. "AMRI is a well-recognized, growing company in this field. The acquisition draws a lot of attention to the state in terms of potential and appeal here."
Rose is a retired Oso Bio shareholder who co-founded the company in 2008. He and his partners bought the manufacturing facility from Catalent, another company that also made injectable drugs.
But following that acquisition, the Oso Bio founders added new capabilities and services to the process to allow the company to handle difficult-to-manufacture pharmaceuticals, such as injectable liquids that require extreme care or that are unstable if not rapidly processed.
Oso Bio will remain in Albuquerque, and current President and CEO Milton Boyer will remain at the helm.
Waneta Tuttle, a longtime biotech investor and founder of Southwest Medical Ventures, said the acquisition "really validates that homegrown biotechnology companies can be successful."
John Chavez, president of the New Mexico Angels -- which has invested in a number of local biotech startups -- said this deal "shows we have the ability to create and grow successful companies here."
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