Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—21 October 2013
4:49 AM MDT | October 21, 2013 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
AstraZeneca acquires ADC technology firm Spirogen
AstraZeneca (London) says that its biologics R&D arm, MedImmune (Gaithersburg, MD), has acquired Spirogen (London), a privately held biotech company focused on antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology for use in oncology. MedImmune has also entered into a collaboration agreement with ADC Therapeutics (Lausanne, Switzerland) to jointly develop two of ADC Therapeutics’ ADC programs in preclinical development, AstraZeneca says. MedImmune will also make an equity investment in ADC Therapeutics, which has an existing licensing agreement with Spirogen. Private equity firm Auven Therapeutics is currently the majority shareholder in both ADC Therapeutics and Spirogen. MedImmune will acquire all of Spirogen’s shares for an initial payment of $200 million and deferred consideration of up to $240 million, based on reaching predetermined development milestones, AstraZeneca says. MedImmune will also pay $20 million for an equity investment in ADC Therapeutics.
BASF opens fine chemical catalysts plant in India
BASF India (Mumbai) has opened its previously announced new precious metal-based fine chemical catalysts production plant and product development laboratory at the company’s site at Mangalore, India. The plant is BASF’s first precious metal- based fine chemical catalysts manufacturing and development operation in the Asia/Pacific region. In addition to the Mangalore site, BASF produces precious metal-based fine chemical catalysts at its facilities at Rome, Italy; and Seneca, SC. The catalysts manufactured at the Mangalore plant will allow BASF’s customers to produce fine chemicals including active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), agrochemicals, nutrition components and flavors and fragrances, BASF says.
SAFC expands Ireland plant to manufacture pharma raw materials
SAFC Commercial, the custom manufacturing and services business unit of Sigma-Aldrich, says it has broadened production at its Arklow, Ireland, facility to include new PharmaGrade products. Production of the raw materials began at the site earlier this year and complements the existing offering of highly regulated active and nonactive pharmaceutical ingredients manufactured there, SAFC says. The new PharmaGrade products manufactured at the Arklow facility include difficult-to-source materials available from research- to commercial-scale volumes. The program takes advantage of Arklow's purification, recrystallization, and distillation competencies to manufacture a short list of catalog products in the PharmaGrade line, including benzyl alcohol, ethanolamine, fumaric acid, N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan, sodium benzoate, sodium butyrate, and hexylene glycol, the company says.
Umicore’s API business appoints marketing partner for India
Umicore says its precious metals chemistry business unit has appointed life sciences company Igenerix Pharma (Noida, India), as marketing consultant to the Indian activities of its active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) business. “Today, India is one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing markets for the pharmaceutical industry. The collaboration with Igenerix will complement Umicore’s present sales structure and further facilitate our customer focus in a key market. Enhancing our worldwide marketing and distribution channels is an essential element of our long-term strategy,” says Alexander Wörner, head of sales/global API business at Umicore.
Aesica and CMIC sign deal for business expansion in Europe, Japan, and US
Aesica Pharmaceuticals (Newcastle, UK) and CMIC Holdings (Tokyo), a leading contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) with established sites in the United States, have signed a memorandum of understanding for the reciprocal development of sales and marketing opportunities for respective clients in Europe and Japan. The companies will also work closely together to develop commercial opportunities across the US market. “There are tremendous synergies between CMIC and Aesica which will be exploited to the full commercial benefit of customers of each company,” says Kazuo Nakamura, chairman and CEO of CMIC. “Whilst CMIC is a leading Japanese, full service contract development and manufacturer of formulated products for the pharmaceutical industry, with established manufacturing sites in Japan, Korea and the United States, Aesica is an international CDMO operating in the UK, Germany and Italy across both API and formulated products. The combined, European, Japanese and US commercial expertise and presence is enormous.”