IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—20 August 2013

4:48 AM MDT | August 20, 2013 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

Russia’s largest pharmaceutical company to buy Singapore-based API supplier for $590 million

Pharmstandard (Moscow), Russia’s leading pharmaceutical company, says it will acquire Bever Pharmaceutical (Singapore), a supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), for a total of $590 million. Russian businessman Alexander Shuster, a nonexecutive board member of Pharmstandard, currently owns 100% stake in Bever. The strategic rationale for the proposed acquisition includes securing a long-term supply of critical APIs for two flagship OTC brands of Pharmstandard—Arbidol and Aphobazolum—at lower cost; increasing the profitability of the OTC business segment; improving cost positioning and flexibility, to react to market dynamics; andrealizing the synergy potential of managing APIs in house, Pharmstandard says. It is expected that Bever will be included in the proposed spin-off of Pharmstandard’s branded OTC business.

Aurobindo Pharma’s API business reports rise in sales, targets annual API sales of $700 million by 2016

The active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business of Aurobindo Pharma (Hyderabad, India) reports a 10.2% rise in sales, to 6.46 billion Indian rupees ($101 million), in the fiscal first quarter, ended 30 June, compared with the year-ago quarter. Cephalosporin accounted for Rs2.16 billion of the total API sales in the first quarter, semisynthetic penicillin accounted for Rs2.22 billion, and nonbetalactam accounted for Rs2.08 billion. Earnings figures for the API business have not been disclosed. The company says it is targeting annual API sales of about $700 million by the fiscal year ending 31 March 2016. The company’s API business reported sales of about $465 million in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2013. Aurobindo manufactures generic pharmaceuticals and APIs.

Boehringer Ingelheim to close API plant in US

Boehringer Ingelheim Chemicals says that it intends to close its Petersburg, VA, active pharmaceutical ingredients plant by end of 2014, laying off 240 people. The company will begin to phase out operations starting in December of this year. The move follows a review of Boehringer Ingelheim’s manufacturing capacity needed to meet industry demands and unsuccessful attempts to find a buyer for the plant. The company’s spokesman says that there is too much capacity in the pharmaceutical marketplace and that drug needs are changing. Drugs are becoming more targeted and there is too much competition from foreign-produced materials, he says.

Chemical R&D spending in Germany climbs to record level

Chemical R&D spending in Germany reached a record level of €9.6 billion ($12.8 billion) in 2012, an increase of 6% versus 2011, says German chemical industry association VCI (Frankfurt). The country's chemical-pharmaceutical industry plans to extend the R&D budget to €10 billion in the current year. The segment is the third-largest branch of industry in Germany and is responsible for 17% of the country's total R&D spending. The number of people employed in R&D there has risen continuously since 2005—with the exception of crisis year 2009—and now stands at 43,000, or 10% of the total in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry. The sector produces about 500 Ph.D. chemists and biochemists every year. The chemical industry in Germany occupies the fourth position worldwide, behind the United States, Japan, and China. Germany accounts for almost 7% of global R&D spending in chemicals and pharmaceuticals. "In comparison with other industries, the chemical-pharmaceutical industry is still well positioned," says Andreas Kreimeyer, chairman of the research, science, and education committee at VCI and a board member at BASF. "The high level of investment in R&D is worth it. The chemical industry is number one in providing the lead in technology, and thus in patents. One patent in six (16%) originates from Germany. The chemical industry achieves more income from innovation than any other industry. New types of material and intermediates, and the necessary know-how of chemistry, are used by numerous other branches of industry, both domestically and abroad," Kreimeyer says.

Perrigo’s API business reports lower operating profits

The active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business of health-care products firm Perrigo (Allegan, MI) reports a 6.5% rise in sales in the company’s fourth quarter, ended 29 June 2013, compared with the year-ago quarter, to $40.9 million. Operating profits for the API business decreased 42.8% in the fourth quarter, to $10 million. The API segment's fourth-quarter sales increased due primarily to the product mix, but it was offset by increased competition on specific products, Perrigo says. Fourth quarter margins in the API business were impacted by lower sales of a generic finished dosage pharmaceutical product that was launched in the fourth quarter of the previous fiscal year, Perrigo says. For the full fiscal year ended 29 June, Perrigo’s API business reports a 3.9% fall in sales, compared with the previous fiscal year, to $159.3 million. Operating profits for the API business decreased 9.2% during the full fiscal year, to $48.9 million.

Johnson Matthey catalysis and chiral technologies business expands capacity

Johnson Matthey says its catalysis and chiral technologies (JMCCT) business unit, which provides heterogeneous, homogeneous, chiral, and biocatalytic technologies for customers in the pharmaceutical, fine chemical, and agrochemical industries, is expanding its specialty ligand manufacturing capability to include commercial-scale manufacturing up to 100 kilograms. The company has a diverse specialty ligands portfolio, and this expansion is largely focused on the Buchwald ligands from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johnson Matthey says. JMCCT’s expansion is mainly focused at the Taloja, India; and Royston, UK, sites.

Beyond IHS Chemical Week:

US FDA seeks applicants to test supply chain security for drugs, APIs
from in-PharmaTechnologist.com

The two-year pilot project will help FDA further assess the growing number of companies and countries involved in importing drugs to the United States.

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