IHS Chemical Week


Fine Chemicals Weekly News Round-up, April 12

4:16 AM MDT | April 12, 2012 | By ALEX SCOTT

Lonza this week disclosed that it has signed a contract to supply biotech firm Agennix (Heidelberg, Germany) with commercial quantities of Agennix's talactoferrin trial biopharma drug for treating lung cancer. The interesting fact here is that Lonza is the second European supplier. The primary supplier for the drug, which is in phase III trials, is DSM. Despite the low cost opportunities at hand to outsource production to China or India (or indeed other parts of Asia) Agennix is obviously keen to keep production close at hand in Europe. Lonza will be producing the drug at its facility at Kourim, Czech Republic - you would think that this would enable Lonza to keep its costs pretty low when compared with production say in Switzerland. 

Meanwhile, BASF has introduced a new series of excipients with enhanced solubility characteristics, and excipients for enhanced properties for use in medical creams. BASF recently highlighted the significant progress that the company has made in the field of excipients at a briefing to journalists at its headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The key message from that meeting was that BASF is putting more effort - not less - into its excipients activities.

On the distribution front, private equity firm SK Capital (New York) and Ion Beam Applications (IBA; Lorain-la-Nueve, Belgium), a medical device company, have formed a jointly-owned distributor of radioactive isotopes for medical imaging. 

Sigma-Aldrich continues to make acquisitions in the fine chemicals field. The company in recent days acquired all outstanding shares of Research Organics (Cleveland, OH), to expand the company’s buffer production capacity and to increase its portfolio of pharma grade raw materials for the biopharmaceutical and diagnostic markets.

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