By shaun Lowthorpe Business editor
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Bosses of King’s Lynn-based Bespak have won a major deal to manufacture a tobacco-free alternative to cigarettes.
Parent company Consort Medical said that Bespak has signed a multi-year exclusive contract with Nicoventures Ltd, a stand-alone company within the British American Tobacco Group, focusing on the development and commercialisation of licensed nicotine products.
Bespak – which is best known for producing drug delivery devices for respiratory medicine – produces more than 500 million drug delivery devices each year.
The new contract is for the supply of an innovative nicotine inhalation product for use as a safer alternative to smoking.
Bespak, which has a base at Bergen Way in King’s Lynn, will manufacture the inhalation system and have responsibility for the final assembly of the product, including a canister containing an active pharmaceutical ingredient.
Consort Medical said the supply of the product by Bespak would get under way after securing the regulatory green light.
The announcement comes as Consort is expected to publish its interim results today and with the Lynn site set to be the focus of the manufacturing effort, the deal is a further boost to the facility, which this year expanded its staff numbers after the closure of its Sheffield factory.
Jon Glenn, chief executive officer of Consort Medical, said: “This is an exciting contract award for Consort Medical, which further demonstrates the full spectrum of the group’s competencies, from product development, through to drug handling and full device assembly.
“The full extent of the revenue opportunity will only become evident following regulatory approval and the product launch. While we do not expect any near-term revenue impact, we are optimistic about the prospects for the product in this very promising market.”
Adrian Marshall, Nicoventures’ managing director, said: “We are delighted to have agreed the contract with Bespak. This takes us closer to our ambition of introducing an innovative, licensed nicotine product as a safer alternative to smoking.”