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Pharma/Fine Chemicals Roundup – September 4
9:09 PM MDT | September 4, 2012 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
HOSPIRA TO ACQUIRE API FACILITY IN INDIA FOR $200 MILLION
Hospira (Lake Forest, IL), the world's leading provider of injectable drugs and infusion technologies, says it has signed an agreement to acquire an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility and an associated R&D facility from Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals (Chennai, India), a leading Indian pharmaceutical company, for about $200 million. The API manufacturing facility is located at Aurangabad, India, and it employs about 640 people; the associated R&D facility is located at Chennai. The acquisition of this U.S. FDA-approved manufacturing facility is expected to reduce Hospira's costs, support continuity of supply of key antibiotic products, and pave the way for future API development, Hospira says. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2012. The R&D facility at Chennai is primarily directed to beta-lactam and other APIs. About 160 scientific personnel and an additional 30 employees support the facilities.
SIEGFRIED REPORTS HUGE RISE IN PROFITS
Siegfried (Zofingen, Switzerland), a producer of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), intermediates, and finished drugs reported nearly a seven-fold increase in net profits in the first half of 2012 compared with the year-ago period, to SF13.2 million ($13.7 million). First-half sales increased 2.8%, to SF178.7 million.
CODEXIS APPOINTS NEW CFO
Codexis (Redwood City, CA) says it has appointed David O’Toole as senior v.p. and CFO, effective September 4. Codexis announced in June 2012 that its interim CFO, Brian Dowd, had resigned to accept another position at a private company. The new CFO, O’Toole, served most recently as v.p. and CFO at Response Genetics (Los Angeles), a company focused on the development and sale of molecular diagnostic tests for cancer and analytical testing services of clinical trial specimens for the pharmaceutical industry.
CARACO GETS U.S. FDA CLEARANCE TO RESUME PRODUCTION
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (Mumbai) says that the U.S. FDA has cleared its subsidiary Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories (Detroit) to resume operations. Operations at Caraco had been suspended since 2009, following Caraco’s continued failure to meet FDA’s current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) requirements. Caraco develops, manufactures, and sells generic and branded pharmaceuticals. The FDA has determined Caraco to be in compliance following inspections and corrective actions earlier this year and has said Caraco may resume operations at its manufacturing facility and packaging sites at Detroit and Wixom, MI, Sun says. Caraco currently has permission to resume producing only two products. Manufacturing of other products, including those pending FDA approval, will be subject to similar, rigorous approval procedures. Caraco is also required to now work with an external auditor to conduct regular inspections for an extended period, Sun says.
VALEANT TO ACQUIRE MEDICIS PHARMACEUTICAL FOR $2.6 BILLION
Valeant Pharmaceuticals (Montreal) says it has entered into a definitive agreement with Medicis Pharmaceutical (Scottsdale, AZ), under which Valeant will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Medicis for $44/share in cash. The transaction, which values Medicis' common stock at about $2.6 billion, has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013. Medicis is the leading independent specialty pharmaceutical company in U.S. focused primarily on the treatment of dermatological and aesthetic conditions, Valeant says. Valeant is a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, and markets a range of pharmaceutical products primarily in the areas of dermatology, neurology, and branded generics. The combined commercial dermatology operations will be located at Scottsdale, and will operate under the name Medicis, a division of Valeant.
MERCK SERONO CREATES BIOINFORMATICS COMPANY QUARTZ BIO
Merck Serono (Geneva), the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, says it has created Quartz Bio (Geneva), a spin-off company resulting from its entrepreneur partnership program (EPP) that was launched earlier this year. Quartz Bio will offer biomarker data management and exploratory biomarker analysis services for the pharmaceutical industry. Biomarker analysis is a critical step in the drug development process, as it enables the identification of patient profiles that are most responsive to a given treatment, Merck Serono says. The EPP is part of a €30-million commitment to support the creation of spin-off and startup companies focused on continuing activities and compounds that originated at Merck Serono. This program is aimed at reducing the impact on employment following closure of Merck Serono's Geneva headquarters in the wake of restructuring, and has already resulted in the creation of another company, Prexton Therapeutics, Merck Serono says.
Beyond IHS Chemical Week
SUBSTANDARD APIS WILL BE MADE AS LONG AS PHARMA FIRMS KEEP BUYING THEM
Substandard active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) will be made as long as drugmakers continue to buy them, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). China is regularly cited as a major source of poor quality APIs, partly because manufacturers in the country have been linked to a number of high-profile scandals in recent years.