Italian Chamber of Commerce in Canada West | Canada invests in Italian nuclear medicine
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Italian Nuclear Medicine Canada Investment

10 Jan Canada invests in Italian nuclear medicine

Ats Automation, a Canadian giant of industrial automation, acquires Comacer, the Italian leader in hi-tech systems for nuclear medicine and radiopharmaceuticals.

The Italian know-how in the field of nuclear medicine attracts the investments of Canada, which arrives in Emilia Romagna acquiring an Italian jewel for innovation, R & D and cutting-edge technology in the field of regenerative medicine and radiotherapy. To benefit from this is the Canadian Ats Automation (3,900 employees and a turnover of 1.1 billion Canadian dollars – 700 million euros) that last December acquired 100% Comecer, a company of Castel Bolognese, with 2018 marked from 70 million euros in turnover, 90% consisting of exports, and 9.1 million EBITDA.

A win-win transaction, according to the CEO of Comecer: with the capitals and an industrial partner such as Ats, the Italian nuclear hi-tech will easily enter in the North American market. On the other hand, the Canadians, now present in Europe only in Germany, arrive for the first time in Italy, true European excellence in the pharmaceutical industry: 31 billion the value of Italian pharmaceutical production, 79% represented by exports. In the last 5 years, investments in Research and Development in the sector have grown by 22% (the European average is 16%), specializing in particular in the field of vaccines, therapies with plasma proteins, rare diseases, etc  

With the transfer of ownership to Ats, a global reference in the field of industrial automation, Comecer plans to triple its size over the next five years.

Pharmoduct Automatic Compounding System

At the head of Comecer will remain the Zanelli family, who founded the company in 1974 and has led it to become a European leader in the production of machinery and insulation systems for regenerative and nuclear medicine after having had to reconvert its know-how from nuclear energy to the medical field in the eighties. Born as a technology provider for the Italian Nuclear Agency, after the blocking of energy production by Italian nuclear power plants, Comecer has specialized in radiation oncology. Today, 55% of Comacer’s annual sales are generated by the radiopharmaceutical market: special radiation shielding systems used in the production, handling and distribution of radiopharmaceutical drugs. The applications for this type of equipment include the diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of a number of diseases including various forms of cancer and cardiovascular disorders.

The remaining percentage of sales comes from equipment to support aseptic processing, filling and handling of specialized pharmaceutical products, insulators, and incubators used in the production of advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP), a regenerative cell therapy using patients’ cells to cultivate new tissue.

Of the approximately 300 employees, most work in the main site of Castel Bolognese, also the home of the research and development center (the company invests 7% of its turnover in R & D each year). It also has a technical and assembly center in Joure, Netherlands, and sales and support offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Canadian partner ATS, founded in 1978, employs about 3,900 people in 21 production facilities and over 50 offices in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company’s shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. A provider of automation solutions, the company uses its extensive knowledge and global capabilities in automation to meet the sophisticated production automation systems and service needs of multinational customers in markets such as life sciences, chemicals, products consumption, electronics, food, beverages, transport, energy, oil, and gas.

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