Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – April 17
7:56 AM MDT | April 17, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
AMRI SIGNS DEVELOPMENT AND MANUFACTURING DEAL WITH AUSTRALIAN FIRM
Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI; Albany, NY) says it was selected by Biota (Melbourne Australia), a leading anti-infective drug development company, to further develop and manufacture the influenza antiviral CS8958 (laninamivir), a second-generation, long-acting neuraminidase inhibitor. AMRI will provide these services to support a new drug application for laninamivir to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). AMRI's role will initially involve the development and manufacture of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for use in clinical trials. In the future there is the potential for AMRI to be selected as the commercial manufacturer of the product.
JUBILANT OPENS SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE IN GUJARAT, INDIA
Jubilant Life Sciences (Noida, India), an integrated pharmaceutical and life sciences company, formerly known as Jubilant Organosys, says it has opened its new special economic zone (SEZ) spread over 300 acre in the Vilayat Industrial Estate at Bharuch, state of Gujarat, India. The SEZ involved an investment of about Rs5 billion ($98 million). The global scale plants of vitamin B3 and 3-cyanopyridine, at the SEZ make Jubilant the largest producer of vitamin B3 in India and second largest globally, the company says. The primary use of 3-cyanopyridine is as an intermediate in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. The company is also setting up a manufacturing plant at the SEZ for Symtet, a crop science ingredient for one of the world’s largest and low cost insecticide through an environment friendly process. These facilities will generate annual exports worth about Rs10 billion at full capacity, the company says.
OMKAR SPECIALITY CHEMICALS ENTERS API BUSINESS
Omkar Speciality Chemicals (Thane, India) says it has entered the pharmaceutical ingredients business with the acquisition of LASA Laboratory (Raigad, India). LASA is an established player in the anthelmintic/veterinary active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) segment with an API manufacturing facility. Omkar Speciality Chemicals manufactures specialty chemicals, such as selenium derivatives, iodine derivatives, molybdenum derivatives, cobalt bismuth derivatives and pharma intermediates for life saving drugs.
“There is a colossal demand in the API manufacturing space, and with Indian drug manufacturing sector gaining international prominence, the acquisition of LASA was the right move for our group to venture into the pharma business. It is also a part of our group’s forward integration strategy,” says Pravin Herlekar, chairman & managing director of Omkar Speciality Chemicals. “Our new API division is already in operations and will initially focus on continuing the existing API business of LASA, which has massive demand in India and abroad. The products are used as anthelmintics or deworming agents for veterinary products,” Herlekar says.
CODEXIS AND MERCK DEVELOP PROTOTYPE ENZYME-BASED METHOD FOR PRODUCTION OF AN ACTIVE INGREDIENT
Codexis says that collaborative research by Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ) and Codexis scientists to develop an enzyme-based production method for a key intermediate in the production of boceprevir has been recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). Boceprevir is the active ingredient in Merck's Victrelis capsules for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Codexis is a developer of industrial enzymes to enable the production of biofuels, biobased chemicals and pharmaceutical intermediates.
BASF AND CATALENT TEAM UP TO SOLVE BIOAVAILABILITY CHALLENGES
BASF says it has entered into a broad collaboration and open alliance with Catalent Pharma Solutions (Somerset, NJ), to provide solutions to overcome bioavailability challenges of new molecular entities with solubility or permeability challenges. The companies aim to combine their expertise to provide pharmaceutical customers with a range of solutions to address pipeline challenges with a large majority of BCS Class II and IV poorly bioavailable compounds.
BASF has ingredient formulation and material science expertise, as well as excipient products and has been a leader in developing hot melt extrusion technology solutions, the company says. Catalent is the leading global partner in drug formulation and development as well as in finished oral dose manufacturing, with more than 75 years of experience in providing bioavailability solutions, BASF says.
TAKEDA TO ACQUIRE URL PHARMA FOR $800 MILLION
Takeda Pharmaceutical (Osaka, Japan) says it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire URL Pharma (Philadelphia, PA), a privately-held pharmaceutical company, for an upfront payment of $800 million and future performance-based contingent earn out payments. Following the completion of the acquisition, URL Pharma will be managed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA (Deerfield, IL). The acquisition is expected to close within 60 days. URL Pharma had sales of nearly $600 million in 2011. URL Pharma employs about 500 people, and the company also has a contracted sales force of about 350 people. Last year, Takeda acquired pharmaceuticals company Nycomed (Zurich, Switzerland) for €9.6 billion ($12.57 billion).
CHINA ISSUES ALERT AGAINST ‘CHROMIUM-CONTAMINATED’ CAPSULES
The Chinese government says that the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA; Beijing) has issued a notice to suspend the selling and consumption of a list of capsules with reported excessive chromium contamination. Several commonly used drugs were packed into capsules made from industrial gelatin, which contains a much higher degree of chromium than edible gelatin, the government says. The SFDA has instructed its local bureaus to investigate the cases and examine the drugs.