Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – May 8
7:36 AM MDT | May 8, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
LONZA ON TRACK TO MEET 2012 TARGETS
Lonza, in its business update announcement for the first quarter of 2012, says that the company’s business performance was in line with expectations in the quarter. Capacity utilization was at good levels across all its business units and there has been a growth in project pipelines in its key business areas, the company says. Lonza acquired biocides maker Arch Chemicals (Norwalk, CT) for $1.4 billion last October, and the integration of Arch is proceeding as planned and the order intake was in line with expectations, Lonza says. Lonza is on track to meet its full year targets for 2012, the company says. Richard Ridinger, as previously announced, started as the company’s new CEO on May 1. Lonza fired former CEO Stefan Borgas earlier this year following a series of weak financial results. Rolf Soiron, Lonza chairman, had been the acting CEO since the end of January.
“The Arch integration is on track to achieve the financial targets that we communicated; the microbial control business will be a key driver of the Ebit increase expect in 2012,” says Soiron. “In the custom manufacturing business, we are achieving good levels of capacity utilization, as new contracts continue to drive both our chemical and biological pipelines. The performance of the life science ingredients business has been good in most areas, however, nutrition ingredients are facing unsatisfactory margins due to strong competition and higher raw material prices,” Soiron says.
DSM’S PHARMA BUSINESS REPORTS WEAK RESULTS IN FIRST QUARTER
DSM says that the performance of the company’s pharmaceutical business in the first quarter of 2012 remained weak, although first signs of improvement are visible. The pharmaceutical business reported a 7% rise in first-quarter sales, compared with the year-ago period, to €175 million ($227 million). The business reported an Ebit loss of €8 million in the first quarter compared with an Ebit loss of €10 million in the year-ago period. DSM’s pharma business comprises DSM Pharmaceutical Products and DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, the former DSM Anti-Infectives. In the first quarter, organic sales growth in the pharma business was 20%, mainly due to a better sales performance at DSM Pharmaceutical Products and slightly better prices at DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals. Pharma sales were negatively impacted by the 50% deconsolidation of DSM Anti-Infectives due to the establishment of the DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals joint venture, the company says.
BASF TO BUILD FORMIC ACID PLANT AT GEISMAR, LA
BASF says it will build a 50,000-m.t./year formic acid at its Geismar, LA facility. It will be the only formic acid plant in North America and will allow BASF to serve strategic markets in North and South America better, including applications for pharmaceuticals, energy, animal nutrition, leather and cleaning products. Start-up is expected in the second quarter of 2014, BASF says. BASF currently operates two formic acid plants with a total capacity of 255,000 m.t./year at Ludwigshafen, Germany, and at Nanjing, China.
CAMBREX REPORTS RISE IN PROFITS AND SALES
Cambrex (East Rutherford, NJ) reported a more than doubling in net profits for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared with the year-ago quarter, to $7 million. Net sales for the quarter increased 14%, to $70 million, primarily due to higher sales volumes of controlled substances and generic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), Cambrex says.
The strong sales and profit growth in the first quarter are “driven by most of our product categories,” says Steven M. Klosk, president and CEO of Cambrex. “The business generated significant volume increases in controlled substances and generic APIs and we continue to make progress with new product development programs to support future growth.”
API BUSINESS OF PERRIGO REPORTS FALL IN SALES AND PROFITS
The active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business of Perrigo (Allegan, MI) reported a 10% fall in sales in the fiscal third quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared with the year-ago period, to $37 million. The decrease was due to lower sales of existing products of about $5 million driven by lower demand of certain products and pricing pressures on a key product, Perrigo says. This decrease was partially offset by new product sales of $1 million. Operating profits for the API business decreased 4% in the quarter, to $10.8 million.
For the fiscal first nine months ended March 31, the API business reported a 7% increase in sales, compared with the year-ago period, to $127 million. This increase was due to new product sales of $6 million, increased sales of existing products of $1 million, and favorable changes in foreign currency exchange rates of $1 million, Perrigo says.
MATERIA SECURES NIH FUNDING TO DEVELOP ALTERNATIVE REAGENTS
Materia (Pasadena, CA), a catalyst firm with an exclusive license for Grubbs catalyst technology, has received a Phase II Fast Track Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the continued development of functional polymers for use in organic synthesis in pharmaceutical applications.
The money will go toward the development of Materia’s methesis catalyst system applied to the development and scale-up of reagents for use in drug discovery. The technology has the potential for providing a series of benefits including broad solvent compatibility, ease of handling, thermal stability and utilization in large-scale purification when compared with current systems. The size of the grant has not yet been disclosed by the company.
THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC ACQUIRES DOE & INGALLS
Thermo Fisher Scientific (Waltham, MA) says it has acquired Doe & Ingalls Management (Durham, NC), a provider of specialty production chemicals and customized supply-chain services to the life sciences and microelectronics industries, for about $175 million in cash. Doe & Ingalls operates service centers in key biopharma and microelectronics hubs in North America. The business generated sales of about $110 million in 2011.