In 2023, Sharp, a global leader in commercial pharmaceutical packaging and clinical trial supply services, acquired Berkshire Sterile Manufacturing (BSM), a Massachusetts-based fill-finish contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for clinical and commercial sterile injectable products.
Here, Kevin Orfan, President and CEO of Sharp and Dr. Shawn Kinney, BSM’s co-founder and CEO, explore the drivers behind the acquisition and the value it will bring to their customers.
1. What motivated Sharp and BSM to pursue this acquisition?
This acquisition is a natural extension of the ongoing partnership that Sharp and BSM have had in place since before 2020. At that time, Sharp took a 25% stake in the BSM business and has now acquired the remaining 75% of BSM. With a proven partnership in place that offers significant benefits to both Sharp and BSM’s clients, it made perfect sense to bring BSM into the Sharp group alongside our clinical services and commercial packaging businesses.
BSM’s upstream services in sterile injectable manufacturing are a natural extension of Sharp’s downstream labeling, packaging, and distribution services. The acquisition comes at a time when there is increasing market demand for integrated CDMO services, particularly in injectable formats such as vials and syringes. By joining the Sharp group, BSM will have the opportunity for further investment to scale its manufacturing capacity and will be able to extend its market reach through Sharp’s established global facilities and client network.
2. How do these recent acquisitions align with your company’s overall strategic goals and vision for the company? How might the acquisition impact your company’s long-term growth strategy?
Sharp aims to be the CDMO partner of choice for biopharma companies in bringing their drug therapies to the patients who need them. We are an ‘enabler’ to our pharma clients in their ambition to improve patients’ lives. The addition of sterile injectable manufacturing expertise to our service portfolio allows Sharp to offer an integrated CDMO service, along with our packaging and clinical expertise, to a global market.
Sharp strives to be proactive in our investment strategy, aligning our investments to clients’ needs whether that is in existing or new complementary capabilities such as this. Our growth strategy includes expanding our facility network and adding capacity where we foresee demand. The acquisition of BSM was an excellent opportunity to add upstream sterile fill capabilities for our biopharma clients where capacity is constrained, and demand continues to grow. Both Sharp and BSM clients will benefit now from a fully integrated service from sterile manufacturing right through to global distribution. It will mean a more efficient and seamless client experience. It offers existing BSM clients access to downstream services and a broader distribution network with one contract partner.
3. How will the acquisition positively impact your market positioning and competitive advantage?
We hope first and foremost that this acquisition will have an immediate positive benefit to our clients, in that by partnering with Sharp, they will gain access to a full CDMO, clinical trial and commercial packaging services with one specialist provider.
Through BSM, Sharp now offers specialist expertise in sterile manufacturing with the highest level of quality assurance. This is a significant addition to our existing capabilities. We hope clients will engage Sharp for small-scale sterile manufacturing, for isolator-based sterile filling of vials, syringes and cartridges. This will sit alongside expertise in secondary packaging of injectables, clinical trial services and other packaging and kitting services where Sharp has a long heritage and an established reputation. We have expanded our value proposition to clients, offering them expertise, capacity and specialist solutions that will ultimately bring their drug therapies safely and seamlessly to the patients that need them.
4. How do you see this acquisition influencing the future of the industry as a whole?
This acquisition is reflective of a growing trend to serve smaller biopharma organizations through ‘under-one-roof’ partners. Sharp is in a strong position to address this need for CDMO’s that manufacture, perform fill-finish, package, and distribute small-scale rare, orphan, and gene therapies. This is a rapidly growing market that is currently somewhat underserved.
5. Will this acquisition influence your company’s approach to sustainability and environmental responsibility?
Sharp takes our sustainability responsibilities very seriously and by sustainability we mean the broader definition that includes Environment, Social and Governance. Like so many other organisations in the pharma industry, we face significant challenges but we also have a huge opportunity to make a positive impact which will ensure we remain relevant and resilient as a service provider in the years to come. While we are at the early stage of our strategy development, we are committed to ESG as a cornerstone of our growth strategy.
For us, sustainability is not siloed but rather has a multi-functional and multi-stakeholder reach right across the business. This means we will use a sustainability lens in all aspects of our business strategy and operations. The acquisition of BSM won’t change our approach to sustainability but it will of course bring that sterile manufacturing business i.e. their operations, their people, and their facility, into scope for Sharp, as we review, measure, report on and then improve our sustainability performance as a business.
More information on the acquisition is available here: https://berkshiresterilemanufacturing.com/news/company-news/sharp-acquires-berkshire-sterile-manufacturing/