RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Salubrent Pharma Solutions – a newly launched contract development and manufacturing organization, or CDMO – has just opened its first analytical services lab in Kannapolis. It will provide a wide range of analytical testing for clinical and commercial stage biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) producers.
This is just the initial step in the company’s planned growth over the next several years, according to President and Chief Executive Officer Terence S. (Terry) Novak.
He said the goal is to open a contract manufacturing site in North Carolina to turn out flexible small batch sterile injectable products within the next year or so.
The company currently is raising $30 million in strategic investments to help fund construction, with plans to find and retrofit an existing building.
In addition, three more facilities – one to be located in New England and two in California – are to follow over the next three to five years, according to the company’s current strategic plan.
Novak and four other veterans of the pharma and biotech industries founded Salubrent in 2020. Novak has worked for more than two decades in the contract manufacturing industry, including stints as CEO of Tedor Pharma; president of Greenville-based DSM Pharmaceuticals as well as Norwich Pharmaceuticals in Norwich, NY; and president and chief commercial officer of Research Triangle-based Patheon.
Novak also sits on the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Greater Charlotte Area Regional Advisory Committee for Biotechnology.
Salubrent and Kannapolis-based Bright Path Laboratories, also a CDMO, entered into a strategic partnership in July 2021. That agreement establishes Salubrent as the exclusive provider of analytical services to Bright Path and its customers.
The two companies are co-located in 10,000 square feet of space on the North Carolina Research Campus, a 350-acre research center just north of Charlotte. And both are focused on the re-shoring – or return – of pharmaceutical production to the United States, which is creating increased demand for the services they provide. Novak said Salubrent can help address a current need by smaller personalized medicine and cell and gene therapy companies for analytical services and sterile fill and finish production on a quick-turn basis.
Novak currently is negotiating with other biotech, pharma and vaccine companies to provide contract analytical services similar to those it offers Bright Path.
Salubrent’s Kannapolis workforce should total about 10 employees by the end of 2021 and is expected to grow to around 25 over the next three years.
The planned aseptic fill and finish manufacturing facility will include close to 50,000 square feet of production space and employ about 80 technically trained employees when it’s up and running, Novak added. Salubrent initially considered locations in several different states. “But North Carolina was our first choice because of its pharmaceutical and biotechnology infrastructure, cost effectiveness, and the ability to attract the right talent,” he said.
“Salubrent’s addition to the diverse and growing life sciences ecosystem in the Greater Charlotte region is exciting news,” said Corie Curtis, executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Greater Charlotte Office. “We look forward to continuing collaboration efforts with Terry and his team to support their meaningful work. Salubrent’s decision to establish a facility in Kannapolis validates our community’s commitment to biotech sector growth.”