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Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—2 July 2013

4:02 AM MDT | July 2, 2013 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

Aspen acquires Merck & Co. API plants and 11 finished-dosage products for $1 billion

Aspen (Durban, South Africa), the ninth-largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world, says it has signed an agreement with Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ), which is called MSD outside the United States and Canada, for the acquisition of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing business, which is located in the Netherlands with a satellite facility and sales office in the United States. The API business manufactures for MSD and the market generally. Aspen has also reached an agreement on an option to acquire a portfolio of 11 branded, finished-dosage form molecules from MSD, covering a wide range of therapeutic areas and including products that use APIs manufactured by the API business. The transaction is valued at about $1 billion, Aspen says. The API business consists of manufacturing operations located in the Netherlands—parts of the Moleneind and De Geer sites at Oss; the entire site at Boxtel—as well as in Sioux City, IA. The API business also has sales offices at the Oss site and at Des Plaines, IL. The API business recorded pro forma revenue of €284 million ($369 million) in 2012.

Covidien completes separation of pharmaceuticals business including its API business

Healthcare products company Covidien (Dublin) says it has completed the previously announced separation of its pharmaceuticals business, which is now held by Mallinckrodt (Dublin), a new independent company. Covidien announced in December 2011 that it planned to spin-off the pharmaceuticals business, and the spin off includes the company’s active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business. In the fiscal year ended 28 September 2012, the pharmaceuticals business of Covidien recorded sales of $2 billion, and the API business within that recorded sales of $433 million. Mallinckrodt began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on 1 July 2013. Covidien manufactures and sells a range of products in medical devices and supplies.

Bayer completes acquisition of German pharmaceutical company

Bayer says it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk (Darmstadt, Germany), a pharmaceutical company specializing in pharmacy-only herbal medicines. Christian Sarto, previously responsible for healthcare mergers and acquisitions at Bayer, has been named as Steigerwald's new managing director. Steigerwald generated sales of €61.3 million ($79 million) in 2012, employs about 180 people and has its manufacturing site at Darmstadt.
“Steigerwald has very successfully expanded its business in recent years. The product range, which includes established phytopharmaceuticals, is a valuable addition to Bayer's self-medication business,” Sarto says.

Strike at Shasun API plant ends

Shasun Pharmaceuticals (Chennai, India), a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), intermediates, excipients, and formulations, informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (Mumbai) that a strike by workers at the company’s facility at Pondicherry, India, which manufactures APIs as well as formulations, ended on 27 June and operations at the facility have restarted. The strike began on 15 June over issues related to work contracts, reports say. An “amicable settlement has been reached with the workers at the Pondicherry facility,” Shasun says.

Bayer enters into collaboration with Seattle Genetics for anticancer drugs

Bayer says that its Bayer HealthCare subgroup has entered into a new antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) collaboration with biotechnology company Seattle Genetics (Bothell, WA). Bayer, under the deal, will get worldwide rights to utilize Seattle Genetics’ auristatin-based ADC technology with antibodies to several oncology targets. Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will be responsible for research, product development, manufacturing, and commercialization of all products. In addition to an upfront payment and option exercise fees of up to $20 million, Seattle Genetics is eligible to receive up to about $500 million upon achieving of certain development and commercialization milestones, as well as royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting products under the multitarget collaboration, Bayer says.

Beyond IHS Chemical Week:

EMA says international collaboration and new laws mean reliable API imports
from in-PharmaTechnologist.com

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) says new import laws and international collaboration means European drugmakers can now rely on the quality of APIs made outside the European Union. EMA international cooperation head, Emer Cooke, made the comment at the DIA's 49th annual conference in Boston, US last week.

160 API units secure WC certificate as India on track for EU exports
from Pharmabiz, India

Exports of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) from India to Europe is unlikely to be hit by the impending new European Union (EU) regulations on API imports, with most of the leading bulk drug players in the country securing written confirmation (WC) certificates well ahead of the deadline.


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