IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—30 July 2013

7:27 AM MDT | July 30, 2013 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

Lonza reports fall in profits, announces restructuring plans

Lonza records a 51.2% fall in net profits for the first half of 2013 compared with the first half of 2012, to 41 million Swiss francs ($44 million). Sales for the first half of2013 decreased by 11.2%, to SF1.74 billion. Lonza also announced certain measures to restructure its activities. Lonza says that its board of directors, on 24 July, decided to phase down the company’s microbial biologics plant at Hopkinton, MA, which will lead to about 2/3 of the 300 jobs at the site being cut by the end of 2013. And Lonza plans to shut down its Lonza Bioscience plant at Saint-Beauzire, France in the fourth quarter of 2013, which will lead to 13 job losses. Lonza also announced its decision to begin a carveout process for the company’s wood treatment business.

Perrigo to acquire Elan for $8.6 billion

Health-care products firm Perrigo (Allegan, MI) and biotechnology company Elan (Dublin) say that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Perrigo will acquire Elan for about $8.6 billion. At the close of the transaction, Perrigo and Elan will be combined under New Perrigo, a new company incorporated in Ireland. New Perrigo, which is expected to be called Perrigo Co. or a variant thereof, will be led by Perrigo’s current leadership team. The proposed transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the respective boards of directors of Perrigo and Elan, is expected to close by the end of 2013, Perrigo and Elan say.

FMC acquires omega-3 producer Epax

FMC has announced that it is acquiring Epax (Ålesund, Norway), a leading manufacturer of omega-3 fatty acid concentrates. The acquisition is valued at about $345 million. Omega-3 concentrates are used in nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and food. The market for omega-3 fatty acid is worth $2.1 billion/year and is projected to grow by 12–15%/year. FMC has entered into a long-term supply agreement with Trygg Pharma—former owner of Epax—to supply Trygg with high-concentration omega-3 fish oil for use as an active pharmaceutical ingredient.

Johnson Matthey's fine chemicals business reports rise in sales

The fine chemicals business of Johnson Matthey (London) recorded a 5% increase in sales, to £81 million, during the fiscal first quarter ended 30 June, compared with £77 million in the April–June period last year. Operating profit, although in line with expectations, was lower than last year because benefits of restructuring during the second half of the 2012–13 fiscal year have yet to impact the division’s results, the company says. The active pharmaceutical ingredients manufacturing business benefited from a new product launched late last year, and sales of bulk opiates were relatively stable.

Lonza and Teva discontinue biosimilars joint venture

Lonza and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (PetaŠł• Tiqwa, Israel) said that, following a strategic review, they have decided to discontinue the previously announced collaboration for the development, manufacturing, and marketing of biosimilars. Lonza and Teva had agreed, in 2009, to establish the biosimilars jv. Biosimilars are approved versions of innovator biopharmaceutical products, made after patent expiry of the innovator product. Doubts were raised about the future of the jv after Lonza CEO Richard Ridinger, in an interview with a Swiss business newspaper earlier this year, said that the costs of developing biosimilars have gone up sharply and that it is unclear if the business model of the jv that was initially agreed on is still effective.

AFC and Proteaf sign joint development agreement

Ampac Fine Chemicals (AFC; Rancho Cordova, CA), a wholly owned subsidiary of American Pacific Corp. (Las Vegas); and Proteaf Technologies (Palos Verdes Estates, CA) have signed an agreement for the joint development and implementation of tools and technologies supporting continuous-flow chemistry for fine chemicals manufacturing, AFC has announced. Proteaf, under the terms of the arrangement, will supply AFC with development services and specialty equipment for continuous processing. AFC will leverage Proteaf's resources, complementing its existing facilities and expertise in cGMP, to offer a comprehensive value package to customers.

SAFC reports rise in sales

SAFC Commercial, the custom manufacturing and services business unit of Sigma-Aldrich, reports a 1.8% increase in sales in the second quarter compared with the year-ago period, to $168 million. Earnings figures for the business have not been disclosed. From 1 January, Sigma-Aldrich aligned its organization into three market-focused business units: research, applied, and SAFC Commercial. SAFC Commercial serves customers in the life sciences and electronic markets.

Catalent acquires softgel business in China

Catalent Pharma Solutions (Somerset, NJ), a company focused on drug development solutions and advanced delivery technologies for pharmaceutical, biologic and consumer health products, says it has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in privately held Zhejiang Jiang Yuan Tang Biotechnology (Haining , China), which produces nutritional softgel products for Chinese and Asia/Pacific markets. Zhejiang Jiang Yuan Tang Biotechnology employs 120 people.

European Commission opens inquiry into aid to German pharmaceutical companies

The European Commission says it has opened an in-depth investigation to verify whether a German scheme affecting pharmaceutical companies is in line with EU state aid rules. The scheme grants companies that are experiencing financial difficulties exemptions from rebates that pharmaceutical companies are obliged to offer to German public sickness funds and private health insurers.

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