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Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – November 1

11:15 AM MDT | November 3, 2011 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

CPHI 2011: CONTRACT FINE CHEMICAL FIRMS UPBEAT, BUT QUESTIONS ARISE OVER LONG-TERM MARKET OUTLOOK

Alex Scott in Frankfurt

Several key manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and pharmaceutical intermediates interviewed by CW at the CPhI show in Frankfurt last week say that the market is buoyant and they are continuing to grow their businesses. The heads of Sigma Aldrich Fine Chemicals (SAFC) and Carbogen-Amis warn, however, that with billions of dollars of sales of innovator pharmaceuticals about to come off patent in 2012 the contract manufacturing sector could be about to face a period of consolidation.

STRENGTHENING CURRENCY AND RAW MATERIAL COSTS CONTINUE TO IMPACT LONZA'S RESULTS

Lonza, in its business update announcement for the third quarter of 2011, says that the company’s good operating performance continued with capacity utilization remaining at good levels and project pipelines increasing in key areas of its business, particularly in chemicals. This underlying growth has however “been masked by the strength of the Swiss franc and the impact of higher raw material costs which take time to pass onto customers,” Lonza says. Further measures have been taken in Switzerland to improve productivity to help offset the impact of the stronger currency.
“We continued to see good underlying performance from our custom manufacturing business in the third quarter,” says Stefan Borgas, CEO of Lonza. “As in the first half we are working to address the strong Swiss franc and higher raw material costs which have particularly impacted margins in life science ingredients. In recent weeks we have completed the acquisition of Arch to create the world leader in microbial control and have listed our shares on the Singapore Stock Exchange. These important strategic initiatives are designed to extend our interconnected life science platform and to support our growth ambitions in Asia.”

U.S. FIRM ACQUIRES NOVOZYMES BIOPHARMA SWEDEN

Biopharmaceutical company Repligen (Waltham, MA) says it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Novozymes Biopharma Sweden (Lund, Sweden), a business of Novozymes (Bagsvaerd, Denmark), for €17 million ($24 million) and future potential milestone payments of €4 million. The acquisition will help Repligen to become a leading supplier of products for manufacturing biologic drugs. The transaction is expected to be finalized during the fourth quarter of 2011. The combined company is expected to generate total sales of about $50 million in fiscal year 2013. Novozymes Biopharma Sweden’s activites include cellculture ingredients and affinity ligands such as Protein A.

FDA TO SUPPORT CENTERS IN REGULATORY SCIENCE AND INNOVATION

The U.S. FDA will award $2 million to support two Centers of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI). The centers, which will be located at the University of Maryland and Georgetown University, will focus on strengthening science and training needed to modernize and improve the ways drugs and medical devices are reviewed and evaluated, a major focus within the FDA. Working closely with FDA scientists, CERSI researchers will assist the FDA in driving innovation in medical product development as well as in advancing laboratory, population, behavioral, and manufacturing sciences. “These partnerships will promote faster and better scientific approaches to product development, helping people in need and supporting biotech innovation,” says Jesse L. Goodman, FDA chief scientist.

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