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Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—27 November
9:46 AM MST | November 27, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH AND SOTIRIOS FRANTZANAS
BASF to acquire Pronova BioPharma for $842 million
BASF says it will acquire Pronova BioPharma (Lysaker, Norway), a pioneer in the field of research, development, and manufacturing of omega-3 fatty acids. BASF has reached an agreement with Pronova to make a recommended voluntary public takeover offer to Pronova’s shareholders, and will offer to pay 12.50 Norwegian krone in cash for each Pronova share. Based on all outstanding shares and including all financial liabilities, the enterprise value would be NK4.84 billion ($842 million), BASF says. BASF expects to finalize the transaction in the first quarter of 2013. Highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids are a globally growing market, driven by an increasing consumer awareness of omega-3 fatty acids' health benefits, BASF says. With the acquisition of Pronova, BASF will immediately achieve a leading position in the global market for omega-3 fatty acids, the company says. Pronova’s active pharmaceutical ingredients are used to treat cardiovascular diseases such as post–myocardial infarction.
Johnson Matthey's fine chemicals division reports rise in operating profits
The fine chemicals division of Johnson Matthey recorded a 2.8% fall in sales in the fiscal first half, ended 30 September 2012, compared with the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, to £138 million ($220 million). Underlying operating profit for the fine chemicals division increased 14.5%, however, to £37.2 million. Sales from the division’s active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing businesses, which comprise Macfarlan Smith (Edinburgh, UK) and Pharmaceutical Materials and Services (West Deptford, NJ), fell 3%, compared to the year-ago period, to £99 million. However, operating profit for the business grew strongly in the first half, Johnson Matthey says.
Switzerland first country listed under new rules that can export APIs to EU without written confirmation
The European Commission says that Switzerland was, on 22 November, listed as the first non–European Union country with active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing standards equivalent to those of the European Union. The European Union has reformed the rules for importing into the EU APIs for medicinal products for human use. As of 2 January 2013, all imported APIs must be manufactured in compliance with good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards equivalent to the GMP of the European Union. Being listed by the European Commission or issuing a written confirmation are two possible options introduced by the European Union’s new Falsified Medicines Directive, to ascertain the quality of imported APIs. The Commission publishes a list of countries which, following their request, have been assessed and are considered as having equivalent rules for GMP to those in the European Union. APIs manufactured in such countries do not require a written confirmation.
Lonza and unions agree on cuts
Lonza says that following recent negotiations, the company—together with the employees’ associations, operative commission, and unions Syna and Unia—have agreed on a plan to implement the recently announced job cuts. Lonza on 31 October announced it will cut 500 jobs globally, including 400 positions at the company's production site at Visp, Switzerland. At least two-thirds of the job cuts will be achieved by internal transfers, natural attrition, early retirements, and a reduction of temporary work contracts, Lonza says. The negotiated plan allows that the number of layoffs can be kept as low as possible through early retirements and internal vacancies; and for the internal transfers and potential layoffs, an operational employment center will be established, Lonza says.
API business of Grindeks reports fall in sales
Pharmaceutical company Grindeks (Riga, Latvia) says that the company’s active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business reported a 52.8% fall in sales in the first 9 months of 2012, compared with the year-ago period, to 3.4 million Latvian lati ($6.3 million). Some API customers of the company reviewed their manufacturing plans for 2012 and postponed deliveries of the products to the fourth quarter of 2012, Grindeks says. Grindeks produces 22 APIs in total, and the company’s main API export markets are Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States.
Dow increases propylene glycol capacity in Germany
Dow Chemical has increased propylene glycol (PG) production capacity at its plant at Stade, Germany, by 10,000 m.t./year, to 290,000 m.t./year. "With our second plant optimization at Stade, we are continuing to support the growing need, and demands of the pharmaceutical-grade propylene glycol market," says Vincent Lacoste, global strategic marketing manager at Dow PG. Pharmaceutical-grade PG is used in a variety of specialty products, including medications, flavors, food and beverages, cosmetics, personal-care items, and animal feed, the company says.