Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – March 27
5:55 AM MDT | March 27, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS TO ACQUIRE ACTAVIS?
Watson Pharmaceuticals (Parsippany, NJ), a leading manufacturer of generic, branded and biologic pharmaceutical products, is close to acquiring Actavis (Zug, Switzerland), the world's fourth largest manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals, for about $7 billion, say reports. Actavis also manufactures a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) mainly for the European and U.S. markets. The deal would give Watson a larger presence in the European market. Watson recorded sales of $4.6 billion in 2011. Actavis, which moved its headquarters to Zug, from Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, in May 2011, had estimated sales of €1.8 billion ($2.37 billion) in 2011, and employs more than 10,000 people. Actavis was taken private in 2007, when Novator, an investment firm led by Bjorgolfur Thor Bjorgolfsson, one of the richest entrepreneurs in Iceland, took over the company.
GSK TO BUILD ITS FIRST PHARMACEUTICAL PLANT IN U.K. FOR 40 YEARS
GlaxoSmithKline has confirmed plans outlined first in November 2010 that it will invest more than £500 million ($790 million) in R&D and manufacturing in the U.K. From the £500 million, GSK will invest £350 million to build a new biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility at its site at Ulverston, U.K. It will be GSK’s first new manufacturing site in the U.K. for 40 years. Also from the £500 million, the company will invest £100 million in its existing manufacturing operations at Montrose and Irvine, U.K. GSK will invest the remaining £50 million in early stage healthcare companies and spin outs from academia in the U.K. A total of 1,000 new jobs are set to be created by the investment program.
STUDY: API COMPANIES NEED TO PLAN EARLY FOR DRUG PATENT EXPIRY OPPORTUNITIES
Products worth $50 billion are seeing the entry of generic competition in 2012 and this presents a lot of opportunities for active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and generic companies. A select few firms which planned well in advance for these patent expiries have captured the full benefits of these patent expiries, by being the first to file, says a new study by PharmaIntellect. To partner with these companies, API producers should be prepared in advance with the most optimized manufacturing process, but with so many new launches occurring every year, it is difficult for API/generic companies to screen which product would continue to grow unabated by competition, the study says.
ENDO ACQUIRES PATENT FOR OXYMORPHONE HYDROCHLORIDE FROM JOHNSON MATTHEY
Endo Pharmaceuticals (Chadds Ford, PA) says it has acquired U.S. patent for oxymorphone hydrochloride, the key active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in all formulations of paint management product Opana, from Johnson Matthey (London). By acquiring Johnson Matthey's patent to the oxymorphone ingredient, which will be listed in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) orange book, Endo will enjoy additional patent protection for its Opana franchise, now through 2029, Endo says.
CTD SIGNS DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT FOR API-GRADE CYCLODEXTRIN PRODUCT
Cyclodextrin Technologies Development, Inc. (CTD; Alachua, FL) says it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Uno Healthcare (Miami, FL) for its Trappsol Cyclo products in Brazil and Columbia. Trappsol Cyclo is designated as an orphan drug for the treatment of Childhood Alzheimer's, and it is the world's only active pharmaceutical ingredient (API)-grade cyclodextrin product, the company says. As it develops, it will be the lead product for Sphingo Biotechnology, a division of CTD focused on the development of API-grade cyclodextrins for pharmaceutical applications, the company says.
FINE CHEMICALS: WHY HIGH-TECH MANUFACTURING REALLY IS THE PLACE TO BE
Many Western pharmaceutical companies – and indeed pharma fine chemical contract manufacturers - have a tough road to tread. As Aslam Malik, president of Ampac Fine Chemicals (Rancho Cordova, CA), in an exclusive interview this week tells CW, there is an ever tighter squeeze on pharma from low cost competition in India and other emerging countries, while at the same time a raft of drugs, which AFC and other technology-rich contract manufacturers make, may be about to go off patent.
ABBOTT NAMES NEW RESEARCH-BASED PHARMA COMPANY ABBVIE
Abbott Laboratories (Chicago, IL) says that AbbVie will be the name of the new, independent research-based pharmaceutical company it expects to launch by the end of 2012. Abbott announced in October 2011 that it would separate into two publicly traded companies, one in diversified medical products and the other in research-based pharmaceuticals. AbbVie, the research-based pharmaceutical company, will include Abbott’s current portfolio of proprietary pharmaceuticals and biologics. The research-based pharmaceutical company currently has nearly $18 billion in annual revenue. The medical products company, which will retain the Abbott name, will consist of Abbott’s existing medical products portfolio, including its branded generic pharmaceutical, devices, diagnostics and nutritional businesses. Miles White will remain chairman and CEO of Abbott, and Richard Gonzalez, currently executive v.p./global pharmaceuticals, will become chairman and CEO of AbbVie.
VALEANT TO ACQUIRE RUSSIAN PHARMA COMPANY FOR $180 MILLION
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (Mississauga, Canada) says it has signed an agreement to acquire specialty pharmaceutical company Natur Produkt (Saint Petersburg, Russia) for $180 million, with an additional $5 million in potential future milestones. Natur Produkt manufactures over-the-counter drugs, generics and food supplements; the company had sales of about $65 million in 2011, and is expected to deliver double digit growth in 2012, Valeant says. The transaction is expected to close by mid-2012.
BAYER HEALTHCARE AND CHINESE UNIVERSITY EXTEND DRUG DISCOVERY PARTNERSHIP
Bayer HealthCare and Tsinghua University (Beijing) say they are expanding their joint research partnership relating to the Bayer-Tsinghua Joint Research Center for Innovative Drug Discovery (BTC). The partners have signed a new agreement to collaborate in the area of biomedical sciences over the next 3 years. Multiple joint research projects have been initiated at the BTC which was established by Bayer HealthCare and Tsinghua University in 2009. The joint projects focus on different research aspects starting from early research programs to gain deeper understanding of disease mechanisms, identification of new drug targets and spanning further to joint structural biology research and medicinal chemistry programs.