in this issue
Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – July 3
1:24 PM MDT | July 3, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
ALBEMARLE EXPANDS API PRODUCTION SITE
Albemarle says it has expanded and upgraded its U.S. FDA-approved multi-product active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility at South Haven, MI. Production with this newly expanded capacity commenced on June 1, 2012. The expansion is the latest in a series of projects at the South Haven site to increase capabilities and production throughput, meeting the increasing demand for both generic API products and custom manufacturing service portfolios, Albemarle says. In the past two years, the number of custom API projects has more than doubled at the South Haven site, according to Albemarle. The investment matches the solids-handling equipment with the reactor capacity and will enable the company to advance its growing portfolio of custom API products, several of which have progressed to late stage clinical development and pre-registration status, Albemarle claims. The company acquired the South Haven generic API site from DSM in 2006.
SCINOPHARM INVESTS IN HIGH POTENCY FACILITY
API manufacturer ScinoPharm Taiwan (Shanhua, Taiwan) says it will invest NT$1.13 billion ($38 million) to build a high potency cytotoxic injectable plant for oncological injectable products at the company's site at the Tainan Science Park in Taiwan. ScinoPharm, which is a global leader in supplying oncological APIs for injectable products, reports having the highest number of oncological APIs within the generic industry. “By expanding into the field of oncological injectable formulation, ScinoPharm will be able to provide a vertically integrated, one-stop-shop service for our existing API customers,” says Jo Shen, president and CEO of ScinoPharm. Construction of the plant is expected to begin in the second half of 2012, with completion in 2014.
MERCK & CO. TO SHUT API UNIT
Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ) plans to permanently shut down its Riverside, PA, API manufacturing unit, which is operated by the company’s Cherokee Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, say press reports. Nearly 30 employees at the facility will lose their jobs when the facility closes in September.
AESICA TO ADD 100 JOBS AT QUEENBOROUGH SITE
Aesica Pharmaceuticals (Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.), a provider of APIs, formulations, and custom synthesis, says it will add 100 new jobs at its Queenborough, U.K., facility between now and 2015 as the site prepares for a significant expansion. The jobs will be created during a phased recruitment drive, which will begin in the next couple of months. Aesica will fill half of the positions in the run up to the expansion, with the additional 50 coming at the end. The plan follows the opening of a new potent formulated products manufacturing facility in November 2011 at Queenborough. This facility also manufactures APIs.
BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB TO ACQUIRE AMYLIN PHARMACEUTICALS FOR $5.3 BILLION
Bristol-Myers Squibb (New York) and biopharmaceutical company Amylin Pharmaceuticals (San Diego, CA) say that the former will acquire Amylin for $31/share in cash, or about $5.3 billion. Amylin is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of medicines for patients with diabetes and other metabolic diseases. The total value of the transaction, including Amylin’s net debt and a contractual payment obligation to Eli Lilly, is about $7 billion. The boards of directors of both Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Amylin unanimously approved the deal.
GSK TO PAY $3 BILLION TO SETTLE HEALTHCARE FRAUD CASE
GlaxoSmithKline (London) will pay $3 billion to settle a health-care fraud case in the U.S. This sum is the largest health-care fraud settlement in U.S. history. GlaxoSmithKlinewill pleaded guilty to promoting two drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin, for unapproved uses and failing to disclose safety information about the diabetes drug Avandia to the U.S. FDA.