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Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – May 15
3:53 AM MDT | May 15, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
BASF ACQUIRES EQUATEQ, A MANUFACTURER OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS FOR PHARMACEUTICALS
BASF says it has acquired Equateq (Isle of Lewis, U.K.), a global leader in the manufacturing of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. With this acquisition, BASF extends its portfolio of omega-3 products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries with a new offering of highly concentrated omega-3 fatty acids. Equateq has a production site on the Isle of Lewis with 47 employees. Equateq, with all its employees, will be integrated into the Pharma Ingredients & Services unit, which is part of the Nutrition & Health division at BASF. The integration is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. With the acquisition, “we are further strengthening our position as a leading supplier of ingredients for the nutrition and health industries,” says Walter Dissinger, president of Nutrition & Health division at BASF.
ASAHI GLASS TO DOUBLE PRODUCTION CAPACITY FOR TAFLUPROST API
Asahi Glass (Tokyo) says it has decided to invest about ¥800 million ($10 million) to build a new production line for Tafluprost, an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for glaucoma treatment, at the production site of the company’s AGC Wakasa Chemicals (Obama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan) subsidiary. AGC Wakasa Chemicals is wholly owned by Asahi Glass, and it manufactures pharmaceutical and agchem intermediates and active ingredients. The new Tafluprost production line is expected to become operational by March 2013, and it will nearly double Asahi Glass’s current Tafluprost production capacity, the company says. Asahi Glass currently manufactures the API at its Ichihara, Japan site.
AMPAC FINE CHEMICALS REPORTS AN OPERATING LOSS
Ampac Fine Chemicals (AFC; Rancho Cordova, CA), a subsidiary of American Pacific Corp. (Las Vegas, NV), has recorded an operating loss of about $1 million in its fiscal second quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared with an operating loss of $838,000 in the year-ago period. Sales for the second quarter increased 28%, to $20.6 million, mainly due to strong anti-viral products revenues, AFC says.
Anti-viral products sales increased 45% in the second quarter, compared with the year-ago quarter. The increases in anti-viral products sales were offset by lower sales volume in oncology products, AFC says. The company’s largest legacy oncology product is an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for a drug that is facing generic competition and, as a result, is experiencing volume and related revenue declines, AFC says. Sales of other oncology products have also declined.
NOVOZYMES OPENS HYALURONIC ACID PLANT IN CHINA
Novozymes says its Novozymes Biopharma business has begun commercial supply of hyaluronic acid from a previously announced new plant at Tianjin, China. The newly opened plant involved an investment of over DKK350 million ($61.4 million), and it supplies Novozymes Hyasis, a pharmaceutical-grade hyaluronic acid. The product targets medical device and pharmaceutical markets.
“The market for pharmaceutical use of hyaluronic acid is estimated to be DKK1 billion,” says Thomas Videbæk, executive v.p. at Novozymes. “With regulations in the medical industry getting tougher and tougher, we believe we are well positioned in Novozymes to offer customers an improved source of hyaluronic acid that will meet their long-term needs. Through our long-term investment in this new facility, we aim to play a leading role in the market for hyaluronic acid for many years to come.”
HIKAL REPORTS RISE IN PROFITS AND SALES
Hikal (Mumbai), an outsourcing partner to companies in the pharma, biotech, agchem, and specialty chemical industries, has recorded a 7% increase in net profits for its fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, 2012, to Rs151 million ($2.8 million). Fourth-quarter sales increased 46%, to Rs2.21 billion. Hikal’s pharmaceutical business recorded a 41% increase in fourth-quarter sales, to Rs1.35 billion.
Hikal reported a 22% increase in net profits for the full year ended March 31, to Rs541 million. Full-year sales for the company increased 41%, to Rs6.94 billion.
Hikal’s pharmaceutical business recorded a 40% rise in full-year sales, to Rs4.47 billion.
"We had our best quarter and year in the history of Hikal,” says Jai Hiremath, chairman & managing director of Hikal. “Our revenue growth is attributable to increased market share in the regulated markets of the U.S., Europe and Japan. The pharmaceutical business has benefited from larger off-take of our products from existing and new customers.”
RANBAXY’S API BUSINESS REPORTS RISE IN SALES
The active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business of Ranbaxy Laboratories (Gurgaon, India) recorded sales of $34 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared with sales of $25 million in the year-ago quarter. Earnings figures for the API business were not disclosed. During the quarter, Ranbaxy made 13 drug master file (DMF) submissions for APIs.
AESICA APPOINTS NON-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
Aesica Pharmaceuticals (Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.), a provider of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), formulations, and custom synthesis, says it has appointed David Greensmith as non-executive chairman. Private equity firm Silverfleet Capital (London) has a majority stake in Aesica. David Greensmith has relevant experience from operating in the chemical and pharmaceutical markets, as well as through holding a number of private equity backed non-executive chairmanship positions, and his previous executive roles include working as managing director of Fujifilm Imaging Colorants, and as COO of Avecia, Aesica says.
David Greensmith’s “insights will put us in an even stronger position to achieve our vision of becoming the number one supplier of APIs and formulated products to the pharmaceutical industry,” says Robert Hardy, CEO of Aesica. “We have already made significant strides towards this goal and will continue our focus on organic growth and strategic acquisitions.”
Aesica, which was formed in 2004, has increased its sales from €25 million ($32 million) in 2005 to a forecast of €180 million this year, and in the last 12 months alone, the business has doubled its number of employee to about 1300, the company says.