IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—21 October 2014

7:05 AM MDT | October 21, 2014 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

AbbVie and Shire terminate $51-billion deal

Shire (Dublin) says that its board has agreed with AbbVie (Chicago) to terminate their previously announced agreement for the acquisition of Shire. AbbVie announced in July that it will acquire Shire for £32 billion ($51 billion). Last week, AbbVie’s board of directors withdrew its recommendation for the proposed acquisition of Shire and instead recommended that stockholders vote against the transaction. AbbVie and its board decided against the deal following a detailed consideration of the impact of the US Department of Treasury’s changes to the tax rules. AbbVie, however, has not provided any financial quantification of this impact, Shire says. The changes to the rules are part of the US government's efforts to crack down on companies trying to lower their taxes. If the merger had gone through, AbbVie would have moved its headquarters outside the United States to enjoy lower tax rates. Shire has entered into a termination agreement with AbbVie pursuant to which AbbVie will now pay to Shire a break fee of about $1.63 billion on 21 October, for all losses and damages in connection with the transaction.

Novasep mulls ADC expansion

Novasep (Pompey, France), a supplier of services and technologies to the life sciences industry, told CW during the CPhI trade fair in Paris earlier this month that it is considering building a new antibody drug conjugate (ADC) manufacturing facility. “In the pharmaceutical business, Novasep has decided to be very active in the area of oncology including highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients [HPAPIs], and ADCs. In the last two years, we have invested close to €5 million in our high potency capabilities,” Michel Spagnol, chairman and CEO of Novasep told CW.
Earlier this year, Novasep completed an expansion of its HPAPI manufacturing capabilities at the company’s facility at Le Mans, France. “We have one site dedicated to HPAPIs [at Le Mans] where we have been investing a lot over the past two years and we will continue to invest because we see the market growing and customers now identify Novasep as a key player in this area. We will continue to grow that site and move into more ADC activity,” Spagnol says. “We are currently active in ADCs in a small scale but we want to invest in larger capacity,” Spagnol says. A decision on the project is expected during the next few weeks; locations within and outside France may be considered for this investment, if the project moves ahead.

Mane flavorings qualify for use in pharmaceutical applications

Specialty chemicals distributor Nordmann, Rassmann (NRC; Hamburg) says that flavor and fragrance manufacturer Mane (Le Bar-sur-Loup, France), a long-standing supplier to NRC, has received a drug master file (DMF) from the US FDA, which qualifies its flavorings to be used in pharmaceutical applications. The DMF provides documentation for pharmaceutical regulatory authorities concerning the production and quality assurance of pharmaceutical substances. By the end of 2013, Mane had already been the first manufacturer and NRC partner to have received an official GMP certificate for the production of flavors as additives in pharmaceutical applications. NRC distributes flavors from the French manufacturer in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden.

Siegfried looking to acquire sterile filling facility in Europe

Siegfried (Zofingen, Switzerland), a producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), pharma intermediates, and finished drugs, told CW that it is looking to acquire a sterile filling facility in Europe. Siegfried already has a sterile filling site at Irvine, CA, which became a part of the company through the 2012 acquisition of Alliance Medical Products (AMP), for $58 million. “We think it would be good to have a sterile filling site in Europe to cater to customers in the European market. We are screening companies at the moment to identify a possible acquisition target,” Peter Gehler, member of executive committee at Siegfried tells CW at the CPhI trade fair in Paris earlier this month. “We will also use our know-how from the United States in the European facility,” Gehler says.

Dow Corning opens expanded health-care application center in Belgium

Dow Corning says it has opened an expanded health-care application center in the company’s European headquarters at Seneffe, Belgium. The facility is intended to serve customers in Europe, and combines the company’s expertise in silicone materials with application development equipment to support advances in medical, pharmaceutical and health-care technologies. The expanded center can offer training on application development using the company’s materials, and can provide an array of prototyping services, technical support and testing for customers designing new products with Dow Corning’s medical grade silicon-based technologies, most notably its liquid silicone rubber (LSR) and high consistency rubber (HCR) product lines.

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