Corden Pharma expands capacity, staff in Boulder

BOULDER — Corden Pharma is expanding its capabilities to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients at the east Boulder plant it acquired in 2011 from Roche Colorado Corp.

The expansion will allow the company to increase its production of oligonucleotides, which are chemically synthesized short nucleic acid polymers that are designed to fuse with DNA or ribonucleic acid sequences. They’re used to treat some cancers as well as infectious and genetic diseases.

The expansion at the plant at 2075 55th St., which was completed in the first quarter of this year, amounted to “renovation of existing space and new equipment,” said Brian McCudden, president and chief executive of Corden Pharma Colorado and Corden Pharma Boulder, in an email to BizWest. “The cost represented a significant investment. We have expanded our workforce due to this investment.”

McCudden said the company has about 350 employees between its two Boulder sites — 2075 55th St. and the former Hospira Boulder plant at 4876 Sterling Drive that it acquired last year from Pfizer Inc.

The growth will expand Corden Pharma’s total commercial capacity up to 500 kilograms annually, according to a media release, which added that the company has “also put in place a dedicated team of experts with more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing oligonucleotides.

“This expansion will not only provide our customers timely and much needed oligonucleotide API manufacturing services to advance their drug development programs in clinical trials as planned, but also allow them to leverage our regulatory expertise for scale-up and manufacture of commercial products,” said Dr. Matthieu Giraud, director of the company’s global peptides, oligonucleotides, lipids and carbohydrates platform. “Drawing upon our strong history in highly potent peptide API manufacturing, Corden Pharma Colorado’s engineers implemented an innovative design to ensure low endotoxin/bioburden levels, which are a prerequisite for injectable APIs.”

The expansion “marks another important milestone in our strategic plan to offer comprehensive development and manufacturing API services,” McCudden said, adding that the company now can offer “manufacturing at multiple scales to leverage a seamless technology transfer process from our experienced oligo development team.”

Corden Pharma was formed in 2006 as the pharmaceutical manufacturing and service branch of Luxembourg-based International Chemical Investors Group.