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Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – May 1
4:56 AM MDT | May 1, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
WATSON PHARMACEUTICALS TO ACQUIRE ACTAVIS FOR $5.6 BILLION
Watson Pharmaceuticals (Parsippany, NJ), a leading manufacturer of generic, branded and biologic pharmaceutical products, and privately held generic pharmaceuticals company Actavis (Zug, Switzerland) say that Watson has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Actavis for €4.25 billion ($5.6 billion). The announcement of the acquisition confirms an earlier report. Watson expects the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2012. Following the acquisition, Watson will become the third largest generics company in the world with 2012 anticipated pro forma sales of about $8 billion, the companies say. Actavis had sales of about $2.5 billion in 2011, and employs more than 10,000 people. Actavis has about 300 projects in its development pipeline and manufactured more than 22 billion pharmaceutical doses in 2011. Actavis manufactures a range of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) mainly for the European and U.S. markets. Actavis moved its headquarters to Zug, from Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, in May 2011.
AMGEN TO ACQUIRE A LEADING TURKISH API PRODUCER
Amgen (Thousand Oaks, CA) says it has signed an agreement to acquire 95.6% stake in Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals (Istanbul, Turkey), a privately held pharmaceutical company, for about $700 million. Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals is one of the leading manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished dosage forms in Turkey. Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals had revenues of about $200 million in 2011 and has grown on average at double-digit rates in local currency over the past five years, Amgen says. The API manufacturing complex of Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals is located at Çayırova in Kocaeli province, Turkey and it consists of four separate API production units.
BASF TRANSFERS PHARMA INGREDIENT KOLLIPHOR PRODUCTION FROM U.S. TO GERMANY
BASF says it will transfer the pharmaceutical production of Kolliphor TPGS manufactured at the company’s Kankakee, IL site, to its Minden, Germany, facility. Kolliphor TPGS is a water-soluble derivative of vitamin E commonly used in pharmaceutical and nutritional formulations and in cosmetics. It also has plasticizing effects that are beneficial for emerging platform technologies in the pharmaceutical industry such as hot melt extrusion, the company says. The transition is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2014.
BAYER MAKES A STRONG START TO 2012
Bayer posted a strong set of first-quarter 2012 results with net profits increasing 53% compared with the same period of 2011, to €1.05 billion on sales up 7%, to €10.06 billion. Ebitda before special items increased 9% year on year in the first quarter, to €2.4 billion. Ebitda was boosted by €85 million of positive currency effects at the Bayer HealthCare and CropScience subgroups, Bayer says.
Bayer HealthCare's Ebitda before special items increased 4%, to €1.2 billion on sales up 4%, to €4.3 billion.
DSM JOINT VENTURE PERCIVIA CEASES INHOUSE ACTIVITIES
DSM and Crucell (Leiden, the Netherlands), a biotech firm, have pulled the plug on all inhouse projects at their biosimilar drugs joint venture company Percivia (Cambridge, MA). Set up in 2007, “Percivia will remain as an entity to serve existing licensees,” DSM tells CW. DSM says that an undisclosed number of staff will be made redundant as a result of the jv’s change of strategy. Percivia’s business has been based on the use of Crucell’s PER.C6 engineered human cell line that has been specifically developed for industrial manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals. The two partners had chosen to transform Percivia from a PER.C6 development center to a biosimilar drug development business two years ago. A key difference in the ownership of Crucell has taken place since, with the 2011 acquisition of Crucell by Johnson & Johnson. The change of strategy at Percivia is understood to be linked to the failure of the two partners to agree on a joint investment program for the jv.
UBE FORMS DIMETHYL CARBONATE VENTURE IN CHINA
Ube Industries says it has reached an agreement with Henan Zhongyuan Dahua Group (Puyang, China) and HighChem Co. (Tokyo), to establish a joint venture in China for manufacturing dimethyl carbonate. Dimethyl carbonate is used in pharmaceuticals, plastics, and agchems, and lately as a non-toxic solvent for paint. The jv company will be called Henan Tanyi New Energy, and it will be based at Puyang. Henan Zhongyuan Dahua will hold a 51% stake in the jv, and Ube and HighChem will each hold 24.5%. The jv will construct production facilities that will produce 100,000 m.t./year of dimethyl carbonate and production is expected to begin in 2013. The jv will manufacture dimethyl carbonate using technology licensed from Ube.
FDA APPROVES PROCESS CO-DEVELOPED BY CODEXIS TO PRODUCE SITAGLIPTIN API
Codexis (Redwood City, CA) says that the U.S. FDA has approved a new process co-developed by Codexis for the manufacture of sitagliptin, the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in Merck & Co.’s (Whitehouse Station, NJ) Januvia, for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The approved process indicates the potential for improving the overall yield of sitagliptin, while significantly decreasing waste byproducts, Codexis says. Codexis develops industrial enzymes to enable the cost advantaged production of biofuels, bio-based chemicals, and pharmaceutical intermediates.
GSK AND UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM TO ESTABLISH LABORATORY FOR SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK; London) says it has formalized a collaboration with the University of Nottingham (Nottingham, U.K.), to establish a new laboratory to accommodate a centre of excellence for sustainable chemistry and to construct a carbon neutral sustainable chemistry laboratory. The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry will be based at the university’s Jubilee campus and its construction is being supported by a £12-million ($19.4-million) grant from GSK. The laboratory will be a centre of excellence for sustainable chemistry and will focus on research that is of particular relevance to the pharmaceutical industry and which complements established expertise at the University of Nottingham. Construction of the laboratory will begin in the spring of 2013 and is expected to be completed in 2014. The announcement builds on GSK’s environmental strategy announced in 2011, with an objective that the company’s operations will become carbon neutral by 2050. This target means there will be no net greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing, distribution, use and disposal of products and the sourcing of raw materials. GSK’s environment strategy also includes interim targets to reduce GSK’s overall carbon footprint by 10% by 2015 and 25% by 2020, the company says.
AESICA ANNOUNCES NEW SENIOR APPOINTMENT IN U.S.
Aesica Pharmaceuticals (Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.), a provider of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), formulations, and custom synthesis, says Emma Mickley has been promoted from her role as director of business development into the newly created position of v.p./corporate business development. Mickley will be based at San Diego, CA, and will support the company in growing its share of the North American contract manufacturing market, Aesica says. Mickley will support the company’s plans to extend its manufacturing base to cater to the North American market, and the company aims to become a leading partner for the development and manufacture of APIs and formulated products, in the region.
AMRI LAUNCHES SMARTSOURCING FOR CONTRACT MANUFACTURING AND RESEARCH SERVICES
Albany Molecular Research Inc. (AMRI; Albany, NY) has launched Smartsourcing, a series of strategic sourcing options for customers. Smartsourcing is a means of insourcing or outsourcing, or even a hybrid model of both. It means tapping into AMRI’s people, knowhow, facilities, expertise and global project management to provide what is needed across the discovery, development and manufacturing process.
Pharmaceutical companies are under pressure to deliver accelerated and increased drug discovery success with reduced budgets and resources, and this can result in a loss of productivity where compromises, such as putting price before quality, scientific expertise and even manufacturing capability, are often struck, AMRI says. Following substantial downsizing in the U.S. and Europe, many large pharmaceutical companies are losing experienced scientists with drug discovery and development expertise and relying more on their providers to fill critical knowledge gaps. As a result, contract research organizations and contract manufacturing organizations need to reconsider their current service strategies to find more appropriate ways to meet the market’s changing needs. AMRI launched Smartsourcing in response to these needs.