IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—25 November 2014

3:03 AM MST | November 25, 2014 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

AbbVie acquires API facility in Singapore

AbbVie (Chicago) say that it has acquired a small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing site in Singapore's Tuas Biomedical Park. The Singapore site, AbbVie's first manufacturing facility in Asia, is about 120,000 square meters and includes a contained API facility, additional buildings and ancillary equipment. The API facility is expected to be fully operational by 2016. The facility will expand the company's global operations for small molecule and biologics manufacturing, providing increased capacity for compounds within AbbVie's immunology and oncology pipelines. As announced in February 2014, AbbVie will also construct a bulk biologics manufacturing facility on the property. The biologics facility is expected to be operational in 2019. The combined facilities will increase AbbVie's headcount by more than 250 new employees, including skilled positions across manufacturing, technical operations, administration, quality, information technology and supply chain. Renovation of the small molecule facility and hiring for multiple positions are currently in process.

Johnson Matthey's fine chemicals division reports fall in sales

Johnson Matthey announced its financial results for the company's fiscal first half ended 30 September 2014. Johnson Matthey's fine chemicals division, which comprises the company's active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing business, the catalysis and chiral technologies business, and research chemicals, reported a 3.7% fall in total sales, compared with the first half of the previous fiscal year, to £155 million ($243 million). First-half underlying operating profit in the fine chemicals division increased 2.7%, however, to £41.8 million. The division’s return on sales improved by 1.7% to 26.9%, as a result of a positive product mix in the API manufacturing business, the company says. Sales in the API manufacturing business decreased by 5%, to £100 million but underlying operating profit increased. Volumes increased for bulk opiates and demand for APIs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) treatment was strong, Johnson Matthey says. The business continued to benefit from additional revenue following some supply shortages for one generic product that resulted in an increase in its prices although the company expects these prices to fall back slightly in the second half of the fiscal year. However, sales of specialty opiates were down, partly as a result of phasing of orders for an API used in a generic product for the treatment of drug addiction. The company also saw increased competition from generic manufacturers for an API used in pain relief medication and this adversely impacted sales, Johnson Matthey says.

Aurobindo Pharma reports fall in API sales

The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) business of Aurobindo Pharma (Hyderabad, India) reports a 4.6% fall in sales in the company’s fiscal second quarter, ended 30 September 2014, compared with the year-ago quarter, to 6.85 billion Indian rupees ($111 million). Earnings figures for the API business have not been disclosed. Cephalosporin accounted for Rs2.34 billion of Aurobindo’s total API sales in the fiscal second quarter, semisynthetic penicillin accounted for Rs2.15 billion, and other products accounted for Rs2.35 billion. Aurobindo is one of the global leaders in APIs.

Sunshine Biopharma signs manufacturing deal with Lonza

Sunshine Biopharma (Montreal), a pharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of various forms of cancer, says that it has entered into an agreement with Lonza for the manufacture of Sunshine’s anti-cancer drug, Adva-27a. Lonza’s expertise and experience in small molecule development and manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) was an ideal fit for Sunshine’s Adva-27a, Sunshine says. Lonza’s manufacturing capacity ranges from gram quantities for process validation to kilogram amounts for clinical trials and ton quantities for commercialization. Manufacturing will begin at Lonza’s Nansha, China facility with the remaining key steps to be conducted in Lonza’s high containment cytotoxic facility at Visp, Switzerland, Sunshine says. Adva-27a is Sunshine's lead anticancer compound, a Topoisomerase II inhibitor, small molecule that has recently been shown to be effective at killing multidrug resistant breast cancer cells, small-cell lung cancer cells, uterine sarcoma cells and pancreatic cancer cells.

AMRI resumes operations at Albuquerque manufacturing facility

Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI; Albany, NY) says that its Albuquerque, NM sterile injectable facility has resumed full manufacturing operations. In September, AMRI identified an environmental deviation in one manufacturing suite as a result of a weather related business interruption. The resulting remediation has now been completed, AMRI says. The Albuquerque site became part of AMRI through the acquisition of Oso Biopharmaceuticals Manufacturing (OsoBio; Albuquerque) for $110 million, in July. OsoBio is a contract manufacturer of highly complex injectable drug products, including sterile liquid, suspension, and lyophilized formulations.

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