in this issue
Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – January 10
4:16 AM MST | January 10, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
TORAY ACQUIRES STAKE IN MITSUI & CO.’S API SUBSIDIARY
Toray Industries says it will acquire a 20% stake in Mitsui & Co.’s wholly-owned subsidiary MicroBiopharm Japan (MBJ; Tokyo). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. MBJ manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and pharma intermediates produced using proprietary production technology. It uses this technology also to produce and sell specialty chemicals. MBJ also manufactures and sells pharmaceuticals, mainly anticancer drugs, through its Chinese affiliate Shenzhen Main Luck Pharmaceuticals, in which it has a 34% shareholding. MBJ employs 233 people.
Last year, Mitsui & Co. acquired the pharmaceutical and chemicals business of Mercian Corp. (Tokyo) for an undisclosed amount. Mercian split off its pharmaceutical and chemicals business, and a special-purpose company MBS was established as a vehicle for the transaction. MBS was transferred to Mitsui & Co., and the name of MBS was changed to MicroBiopharm Japan on completion of the acquisition on July 1, 2011.
ASHLAND TO INCREASE POLYVINYLPYRROLIDONE CAPACITY
Ashland says it will expand production capacity for Polyplasdone and Polyclar crosslinked polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) at its manufacturing facility at Texas City, in response to strong demand. The capacity expansion through the addition of a new PVP production unit at the site is expected to be completed by late 2013. Polyplasdone PVP is a synthetic polymer used globally as a tablet disintegrant and drug dissolution aid in a wide variety of over-the-counter and prescription drug products. As a global leader, Ashland currently has two dedicated PVP manufacturing units located at Calvert City, KY and at Texas City. Ashland acquired the Polyplasdone and Polyclar businesses through the acquisition of International Specialty Products (ISP) last year.
CLINIGEN AND PCAS SIGN API SUPPLY DEAL
Clinigen Healthcare, a division of Clinigen Group (Burton-on-Trent, U.K.), has signed a long-term global supply agreement with PCAS (Longjumeau, France), a leading active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer, for the production of the Foscavir drug substance. PCAS will manufacture foscarnet sodium hexahydrate, the API contained in Clinigen’s Foscavir, while Clinigen will leverage its own infrastructure and global network of partners to supply the medicine worldwide, under the agreement. Clinigen holds marketing authorizations to sell Foscavir as a treatment for HIV/AIDS-related cytomegalovirus infections and herpes in 16 markets, as well as in bone marrow transplantation in Japan, PCAS says
SIGMA-ALDRICH TO BUY U.S. BIOPHARMA SERVICES FIRM FOR $350 MILLION
Sigma-Aldrich has agreed to acquire BioReliance Holdings (Rockville, MD), a provider of global biopharmaceutical testing services, for $350 million in cash from Avista Capital Partners (New York). Subject to regulatory clearance, the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of this year. BioReliance generated sales in 2010 of approximately $110 million, with double-digit growth expected for 2011. BioReliance provides services that include biologic, specialized toxicology and animal health testing to pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, and other life science customers worldwide.
U.S. PHARMACOPEIAL CONVENTION PROPOSES BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT ADULTERATED MEDICINES
The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP; Rockville, MD) says it is proposing a set of recommended best practices that will help ensure that medicines can be traced back to their original manufacturer, are not adulterated or counterfeited, and are transported to their intended destination with their quality intact. USP is seeking feedback on these recommendations on supply chain integrity. Supply chain integrity involves minimizing risks that arise anywhere along the supply chain, from sourcing pharmaceutical raw materials to their manufacture and distribution.
SHASUN RESTARTS PLANT IN INDIA
Shasun Pharmaceuticals (Chennai, India), a manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), intermediates, excipients, and formulations, informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (Mumbai) that the company restarted its production facility at Cuddalore, India on January 5, 2012. Operations at the facility were suspended since December 30, 2011 due to cyclone ‘Thane’. Shasun has production facilities at four locations in India, and at Dudley, U.K.
NEWRON TO GRANT SAFINAMIDE LICENSE TO MEIJI SEIKA PHARMA
Newron Pharmaceuticals (Bresso, Italy) says it has agreed with Meiji Seika Pharma (Tokyo), on the principal terms and conditions of a license transaction covering the research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of safinamide in Japan and key Asian territories. Safinamide is currently being developed as an add-on therapy in patients with early or late-stage Parkinson’s disease. A definitive agreement will be completed shortly and will become effective upon the return of the global rights to safinamide from Merck Serono, the biopharmaceuticals division of Merck KGaA, to Newron by April 17, 2012. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.