3M Drug Delivery Systems has rebranded itself as Kindeva Drug Delivery following its acquisition by Altaris Capital Partners, in a transaction valued at $650m.

3M will retain a 17% minority interest in Kindeva alongside Altaris. The sale does not include 3M’s transdermal components business. According to Star Tribune, the divested business nets around $380m in annual revenue, with 3M retaining about 40 cents per share as a result of the divestiture.

Kindeva, a leading contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) specialises in solving complex drug delivery challenges for its customers. This includes inhalers, microneedles and conventional drug delivery methods. The company employs approximately 900 people worldwide, and provides expertise in formulation, product development and manufacturing.

The company was responsible for the world’s first metered-dose inhaler (MDI), as well as the first drug-in-adhesive transdermal patch. Its microneedle-based drug delivery platforms are currently being used in dozens of development programs, including for Covid-19 vaccines, the treatment of osteoporosis and in immunotherapies.

The investment from Altaris will be used to execute a growth plan involving significant capital expenditure and the addition of new jobs across its operating regions. The company expects to create new job opportunities in the US, UK and Canada.

Drug delivery development during a pandemic

In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, Kindeva’s customers have become engaged in a variety of projects related to the disease, providing a boost to the business.

Kindeva CEO Aaron Mann says: “Several of the inhaled therapies we manufacture for customers are used to treat symptoms of Covid-19 or are being tested as potential therapies to mitigate symptoms. Many of our microsystems [microneedle-based technologies] partners are actively developing complex vaccines, often for immuno-oncology, but also now focusing on potential Covid-19 treatments.”

The company has also spent the past four months increasing its production of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 respirators, in response to the pandemic.

Mann says: “Demand has significantly increased for many of the products we develop and supply for customers, so we’ve been working with them to deliver as much high-quality product as possible. At the same time, we’ve maintained our focus on keeping our colleagues and staff safe, implementing work from home, social distancing, and other protective measures. We have a terrific team of dedicated colleagues who have risen to this challenge.”

Small but significant growth for the drug delivery market

As the crisis continues, Kindeva is well-placed to supply the devices and equipment the pharmaceutical industry needs to develop and manufacture potential therapies and treatments for Covid-19. A global pandemic is never good news for anyone, but even as employees across the globe find themselves furloughed or made redundant, Kindeva is in the fortunate position to be able to offer jobs to local communities. The company’s confidence is reflected in the semantic decisions behind its rebrand.

“Our name reflects both our legacy of innovation and achievement and the passion and drive of our talented team,” says Mann. “Kinetic speaks to the talent of our employees and the complexity of the pharmaceutical programs we tackle. Development speaks to our ability to progress complex drug product programs with our customers and the opportunities ahead of our teams.”

The global drug delivery devices market is expected to grow marginally from $1.4bn in 2019 to $1.6bn in 2020, with a slight increase in demand due to the increased use of such devices as a result of Covid-19. The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases throughout the global population is also expected to drive a growing need for drug delivery devices.