Northumberland-based pharmaceutical business SCM Pharma is aiming for export growth after it bolstered its North American profile with the appointment of a US-based business development manager.
Derek Richards will oversee the pharma contract manufacturing organisation’s business development activities across the territory and will be responsible for growing its overall US footprint.
Previously of Aptuit, Novartis and Schering Plough, Derek brings an impressive track record in contract sterile fill finish and formulation development to his new role at the award-winning company.
The move comes just weeks after SCM Pharma’s Prudhoe-based pharmaceutical contract manufacturing facility was approved at the first attempt by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The thumbs up from the US regulator potentially opens up commercial opportunities for the company in the production of commercial medicines in the US, which has led to this latest high-profile appointment.
Dianne Sharp, managing director at SCM Pharma, said: “The minute we knew the FDA were due to inspect our clinical headquarters in Prudhoe, we recognised the need to strengthen our US presence as the approval will no doubt trigger more demand for our small scale clinical and contract manufacturing services in North America.
“As soon as Derek came on our radar, we knew he was the ideal person for this role. His experience and expertise in the sterile and clinical manufacturing area is a perfect fit for our business and his energy will help us realise our ambitions to expand our client-base in the US.
“We already work with big pharma and charitable organisations in the US on clinical development projects and we expect our services will be of interest to many companies looking to run clinical trials or supply medicines in Europe,” added Dianne.
An experienced commercial executive, Derek has worked across the pharmaceutical sector for around 20 years and will head-up the CDMO’s US sales operations from the East Coast.
He said: “I first became aware of SCM from conversations at various conferences in the US and began to hear more about their capabilities and expertise in the sterile filling area. I was immediately attracted to the company as it has a real entrepreneurial spirit and can do attitude culture backed up by industry leading technical expertise and strong quality systems.
“I am very excited to be an integral part of SCM’s US growth strategy and look forward to helping the business meet its commercial objectives. I am also looking forward to getting to know my know colleagues in North East England, gaining a full understanding of our service offering and of course mastering the Geordie accent!”
SCM Pharma’s 100-strong team specialise in the sterile production of products for clinical trials and the supply of licensed drugs in niche commercial markets. It recently opened the doors of a new £6m site in Newburn, which complements its now FDA-approved clinical manufacturing facility nearby.