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Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – June 12
7:59 AM MDT | June 12, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
PFIZER TO CUT 177 JOBS AT IRELAND API PLANTS
Pfizer plans to cut 177 jobs at the company’s two active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing plants at Cork, Ireland. The two plants are located at Little Island and Ringaskiddy. The job cuts will take effect in 2013. The move is mainly in response to Pfizer’s cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor going off patent last year. Lipitor is the world’s top-selling drug. Intermediates and final API for Lipitor are supplied from Cork. “Patent expiry means greater competition which impacts global demand, and we need to readjust the scale of our manufacturing operations,” says Paul Duffy, v.p. at Pfizer.
Pfizer employs over 4,000 people across eight locations based at Cork, Dublin, Kildare and Limerick in Ireland.
UBICHEM ACQUIRES FINE CHEMICALS SITE IN HUNGARY
Ubichem (Budapest, Hungary) says it has acquired a large scale fine chemicals manufacturing site at Budapest. The site, which is called Ubichem Pharma Manufacturing, produces starting materials, intermediates and other fine chemical products for pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical applications in industrial quantities. Further details of the acquisition were not disclosed. “This new plant represents a milestone in Ubichem history. From now on we are able to provide a comprehensive range of services from process R&D through pilot-scale cGMP active pharmaceutical ingredient [API] manufacture to high-volume manufacturing,” says CEO József Répási.
EMA ADOPTS PROCEDURE TO DEAL WITH GMP NON-COMPLIANCE INFORMATION FROM OTHER AUTHORITIES
The European Medicines Agency (EMA; London) says it has adopted a procedure for dealing with all circumstances of serious GMP non-compliance information originating from third country authorities and international organizations. The Information may refer to active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), finished product or investigational medicinal products (IMP) manufacturers, and quality control labs located either in Europe or elsewhere. The procedure, which was adopted in May 2012 and is expected to come into force in November 2012, is necessary to ensure a coordinated approach to potential risks to public/animal health, EMA says.
JOHNSON MATTHEY RECORDS STRONG FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE
Johnson Matthey says sales and underlying operating profits increased 20% and 23% in the year ended March 31, 2012, to £12.02 billion and £426 million, respectively. Quarterly figures were not disclosed. The fine chemicals division of Johnson Matthey recorded a 16% year-over-year increase in sales and operating profits for the division increased 24%, due to a strong performance from its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing business, the company says.
Each of Johnson Matthey's divisions contributed to the company's strong performance in the year ended March 31, but it was "particularly enhanced by our leading position in heavy duty diesel catalysts, a very strong year from Davy Process Technology, and excellent progress in our North American API manufacturing business," says Neil Carson, CEO of Johnson Matthey. “The group is well positioned for the year ahead and we remain confident that our strong positions in key markets will allow us to make further progress in environmental technologies and fine chemicals in 2012-13,” Carson says.
ACETO RENAMES API BUSINESS SEGMENT
Distribution company Aceto (Port Washington, NY) says it has renamed its business segments including its pharma fine chemicals segment. The business segment has been renamed Pharmaceutical Ingredients and it consists of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates. Aceto markets and distributes pharmaceutical intermediates and APIs, finished dosage form generics, nutraceutical products, agricultural protection products and specialty chemicals.
ELI LILLY EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH CHINESE COMPANY
Eli Lilly says it has expanded its collaboration with generic and specialty pharmaceutical company Novast Laboratories (Nantong, China), to build a portfolio of Lilly branded generic medicines in China. As part of the agreement, Lilly invested an additional $20 million in Novast. Lilly made an initial equity investment in Novast several years ago through the venture capital unit, Lilly Asian Ventures. The expanded collaboration may also result in Novast providing local and regional manufacturing capabilities for Lilly's own pipeline of potential new medicines in development, Lilly says.
Novast has committed to set up a platform to support Lilly branded generic products and increase the manufacturing capacity at its Nantong site over the next several years, with Lilly providing technical support. The additional capacity will support the collaboration, but will not be solely dedicated to Lilly products. The two companies have selected an initial list of medicines across multiple therapeutic areas that will be manufactured by Novast once the facilities are operational.