IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – June 26

10:09 AM MDT | June 26, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH


Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturer Hovione (Loures, Portugal) has recorded a 24% rise in sales in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, compared with the previous fiscal year, to $180 million. Earnings figures were not disclosed.
“During the last five years Hovione has doubled its sales and has made bold strategic steps to both strengthen its ability to serve innovators and to consolidate its leadership in off-patent contrast agents,” says Miguel Calado, chief financial officer at Hovione. “Looking forward, and despite the difficult economic environment, we remain confident that 2012 will be another year of solid growth.”


By Ian Young
Merck KGaA says it has completed the Swiss consultation process for the recently announced restructuring of the company's Merck Serono division in Switzerland. The plan includes the closure of Merck Serono's Geneva headquarters and of the company's Coinsins production site. About 500 of the 1,250 jobs at the Geneva headquarters will be lost, and the rest will be transferred elsewhere.
The initial restructuring proposal was presented by Merck Serono to employees on April 24, providing Switzerland-based employees with the opportunity to provide alternative proposals to avoid the job cuts envisaged in the plan, to reduce their number or minimize their impact, in accordance with Swiss law. Merck Serono has incorporated several aspects of the proposals received from employees into the final restructuring plan, the company says. But it could not agree to those proposals advocating maintenance of the activities in Geneva.


Codexis (Redwood City, CA) says that Joe Sarret has resigned as senior v.p and chief business officer, effective August 3, 2012. The company did not disclose the reasons for his departure. Joe Sarret’s departure follows the resignation of Brian Dowd, interim chief financial officer at Codexis, earlier this month to accept a position at a private technology company; and the resignation of Alan Shaw, president and CEO of Codexis in February 2012. John Nicols was appointed as the new president and CEO, starting June 13.


DSM Pharmaceutical Products (Parsippany, NJ), the business unit of DSM which provides contract manufacturing and development services to the pharma and biopharmaceutical industries, says it has signed a commercial agreement for contract manufacturing services using its proprietary XD high cell density process technology with a major pharmaceutical company. DSM did not disclose the name of the pharma company and the financial terms of the deal.


Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ) is in discussions to acquire privately held Micro Labs (Bangalore, India), say press reports. Micro Labs manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished formulations. Micro Labs, which was established in 1973, is run by the Surana family. According to the Micro Labs website, the company has annual sales of about Rs15 billion ($263 million) and is targeting sales of about $1 billon by 2015.


Sigma Aldrich Fine Chemicals (SAFC), the custom manufacturing and services business unit of Sigma-Aldrich, says it will consolidate its global chiral chromatography screening and small scale purification operations and locate them at its Pharmorphix solid state research laboratories at Cambridge, U.K., to support its new integrated chiral chemistry offer. The Cambridge facility will now become the worldwide hub for SAFC’s chiral service offering which ranges from chiral gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC) separations, to large scale crystallization, simulated moving bed (SMB) separations and production of enantiomerically pure active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The consolidation of SAFC’s chiral services will provide customers with a single, dedicated point of contact from the development stage through scale up, SAFC says. Paul Rodwell, a former senior principal scientist with Pfizer, has been appointed to lead SAFC’s chiral chromatography method development team.
Analytical equipment is currently being installed at the Cambridge site, having been transferred from Sigma-Aldrich subsidiary Supelco Analytical at Bellefonte, PA, where the chiral screening service was previously performed, SAFC says. The chiral screening operation will continue to support the analytical chiral column business and will complement the solid-form characterization and research services already located at the Cambridge site. The new laboratories are expected to be validated and fully operational in July 2012. “SAFC offers a range of chiral services that are applicable for a wide range of markets, from early stage drug discovery to route optimization and product development, through gram to multi kilo scale-up,” says Rodwell.


DSM says it has completed the previously announced acquisition of biomedical company Kensey Nash (Exton, PA) for about $360 million, and it is now a an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of DSM. The acquisition was first announced last month and the tender offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of common stock of Kensey Nash concluded on June 18. The acquisition will strengthen and complement DSM’s biomedical business, one of the three emerging business areas of DSM, the company says.
Kensey Nash is primarily focused on regenerative medicine utilizing its proprietary collagen and synthetic polymer technology. It manufactures and sells medical device parts in cardiology, orthopedic, sports medicine, spinal and general surgery.

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