Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – January 24
6:32 AM MST | January 24, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
DSM AND SINOCHEM EXPLORE COLLABORATION IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
Sinochem (Beijing) says that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with DSM on January 18, to explore opportunities for cooperation in the field of biotechnology, building on their existing cooperation in anti-infectives. DSM and Sinochem completed a deal in August 2011 to establish a 50-50 jv for the DSM Anti-Infectives business, creating DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals (DSP; Hong Kong). DSP develops, produces, and sells raw materials, intermediates, and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for anti-infectives such as antibiotics; anti-fungals; and APIs for other therapeutic classes such as cholesterol-lowering medicines. At a meeting led by Liu Deshu, president of Sinochem and Feike Sijbesma, chairman of the board of DSM, the companies discussed the progress made by DSP and their aim to widen the partnership, Sinochem says. The companies also explored plans for the strategic cooperation in biotechnology, Sinochem says. No further details of the plans were disclosed.
ENZYMICALS AND HERBRAND TEAM UP FOR BIOTECHNOLOGICAL PRODUCTION OF APIS
Enzymicals (Greifswald, Germany), a company that specializes in the enzymatic production of fine and specialty chemicals and the production of biocatalysts, says that it will cooperate with Herbrand PharmaChemicals (Gengenbach, Germany) for the biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals and intermediates. It will include cooperation for GMP-compliant production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), extension of the process development and route-scouting by biocatalysis and biotransformation, and biocatalytic production of fine chemicals in gram up to ton scale.
POLYTHERICS ACQUIRES WARWICK EFFECT POLYMERS
PolyTherics (London), a biotechnology company that applies precision chemistry to develop protein and peptide-based drugs, says it has acquired Warwick Effect Polymers (WEP; Coventry, U.K.), a provider of specialty biopolymers for the modification of biological products. Financial details were not disclosed. “With this acquisition of WEP, PolyTherics now has broader technology capabilities for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology company partners that the two companies have separately served,” says John Burt, CEO of PolyTherics.
USE OF NANOMATERIALS IN MEDICINES GETS BIGGER
The sale of medicines featuring nanomaterials is set to rise by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5%, to $130.9 billion in 2016, up from $72.8 billion in 2011, according to a new report by BCC Research (Wellesley, MA). Nanomedicine is already an established market, unlike some other potential applications of nanotechnology, which are still largely experimental, BCC says. The use of nanomaterials in medicines has made a significant contribution to product effectiveness, researchers in the report say.
The U.S. pharma sector is set to be one of the biggest users of nanomaterials in medicines: In the field of nanomedicine research, the U.S. accounts for one-third of all publications and half of patent filings. A comparison between Europe and the U.S. shows that Europe is at the forefront of research involving the use of nanomaterials in medicines, but that the U.S. is ahead in the number of patents filed. The strong patenting activity of U.S. scientists and companies is more advanced than elsewhere, BCC says.
WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS ACQUIRES STRIDES ARCOLAB’S GENERICS BUSINESS IN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA FOR $393 MILLION
Watson Pharmaceuticals (Parsippany, NJ) and Strides Arcolab (Bangalore, India) say that Watson has acquired Ascent Pharmahealth (Melbourne), the generic pharmaceutical business of Strides Arcolab in Australia and Southeast Asia for A$375 million ($393 million) in cash. With the acquisition, Watson becomes the fifth largest generic pharma company in Australia based on revenue, and the combined company will be the second largest in terms of total molecules, and Watson also becomes the largest generics company in Singapore and gains an established commercial base in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand. The transaction was signed and closed simultaneously.
“This acquisition immediately establishes Watson among the leaders in the A$12-billion Australian pharmaceutical market, where the generic market is growing at approximately 8%. This acquisition complements our existing generic development and marketing capabilities in the important Australia market, and catapults us to a top five position that would have taken considerable time and investment to build organically. It also provides us with a leadership position in Southeast Asia, a region with more than 600 million consumers and overall annual generic sales of approximately A$4 billion a year, which is projected to grow at more than 8% annually,” says Paul Bisaro, president and CEO of Watson.
AMRI’S U.K. API FACILITY GETS MHRA GMP CERTIFICATION
Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI; Albany, NY) says that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA; London), a U.K. regulatory body, has issued a good manufacturing practice (GMP) certificate for AMRI’s manufacturing facility at Holywell, U.K., following an inspection in October 2011. The certificate covers general GMP manufacturing operations, and laboratory controls designed for the production and release of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates. AMRI acquired the Holywell facility through the acquisition of contract manufacturer Excelsyn in 2010 for $19 million.
The MHRA inspection follows a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) audit of the facility in June 2011, in which no formal observations were issued. The completion of the FDA and MHRA inspections means that AMRI’s Holywell facility can now produce registered intermediates and active ingredients for use in humans and expands the range of projects that AMRI can now conduct at this facility, the company says.
TAKEDA TO CUT 2,800 JOBS IN EUROPE, U.S. BY 2016
Takeda Pharmaceutical (Osaka, Japan) says it plans to reduce its global workforce by 2,800 positions, which includes 2,100 job cuts in Europe and 700 job cuts in the U.S., by the end of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. Takeda says the measures will better align its global workforce in order to integrate Nycomed (Zurich, Switzerland), and to adapt to changing market conditions. Takeda acquired pharmaceutical company Nycomed for €9.6 billion ($12.3 billion) in September 2011. The job cuts will be across all functions.
SALTIGO APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF FINE CHEMICALS BUSINESS
Saltigo (Langenfeld, Germany), a Lanxess subsidiary, has appointed Joerg Schneider as the new head of its Agro & Fine Chemicals business line, effective February 1, 2012. Joerg Schneider is currently managing director of Lanxess Elastômeros do Brasil, and he will succeed Uwe Brunk, who is leaving the company, Saltigo says.
Joerg Schneider began his career in 1978 with a three-year commercial training course at Bayer and initially worked in the sales department of Bayer's rubber business group, now part of Lanxess. Schneider held various positions in sales, marketing and technical service in Germany and abroad. When Lanxess was established in mid 2004, Joerg Schneider became global head of the sales & technical service department of the rubber chemicals business unit. Following the acquisition of rubber manufacturer Petroflex in 2008, Schneider became managing director of the newly established company Lanxess Elastômeros do Brasil.