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Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—17 June 2014
7:36 AM MDT | June 17, 2014 | By DEEPTI RAMESH
Lonza invests in single-use technology and facility upgrades for clinical ADC manufacturing
Lonza says it is investing in technology and facility improvements to its antibody drug conjugate (ADC) clinical manufacturing facility at Visp, Switzerland. The planned upgrades include the introduction of single-use technology for flexible ADC manufacturing, along with a recently optimized plant layout and revamping, which has resulted in a larger ADC production area. The addition of single-use manufacturing systems will reduce potential product contamination risks and allow for increased manufacturing capacity of existing and novel ADC platforms, Lonza says. Currently, Lonza’s clinical ADC plant at Visp produces toxicology lots, early-phase GMP lots and GMP re-supply lots to support ongoing clinical trials for several different product candidates.
Aqualis acquires Norwegian API producer Weifa
Aqualis (Oslo) announced on 17 June that it has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement with Weifa Holding to acquire all of the shares in Weifa (Oslo), a leading fully-integrated pharmaceutical company in Norway and a major supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to the international pharmaceutical industry, for 1.1 billion Norwegian kroner ($184 million). Aqualis is a company that is involved in the marine & offshore and healthcare businesses. Weifa is a market leader within the consumer health pain relief segment and a leading supplier of APIs for diabetes medicines and opiates for use in pain relief and cough medicine. Weifa Holding is a private limited liability company owned by the founding family and management of Weifa. The acquisition is expected to be completed in August 2014. Weifa currently employs about 180 people, and has two manufacturing plants at Kragerø in southern Norway. Weifa, which was founded in 1940, has seen strong revenue growth over several decades, and in 2013, Weifa generated sales of NK546 million, Aqualis says. Weifa is expected to report sales of NK569 million and Ebitda of NK105 million in 2014, Aqualis says.
API business of Sun Pharma reports rise in sales
The active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) business of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (Sun Pharma; Mumbai) reports a 31% rise in sales in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, ended 31 March 2014, compared with the year-ago period, to 2.22 billion Indian rupees ($37 million). For the full fiscal year ended 31 March, the API business reports a 6% rise in sales, compared with the previous fiscal year, to Rs8.01 billion.
AbbVie expands API site in Ireland
AbbVie (Chicago) says that it has opened its newly expanded manufacturing facility at Sligo, Ireland, earlier this month. AbbVie is a research-based pharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories (Chicago). The Sligo facility manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients as well as drug products. The expansion has resulted in the creation of 175 jobs at Sligo.
Provence acquires Synprosis
Provence Technologies Group (Marseille, France), a fine chemistry research group, says it has acquired Synprosis (Fuveau, France), a company that specializes in the chemical synthesis of peptides and proteins for therapeutic use. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Provence offers R&D services to the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, agrochemical and cosmetic industries in the area of fine chemistry, including research into synthesis pathways, synthesis of organic compounds, chemical development and process optimization. Synprosis has been renamed Provepep. Jean-Pierre Salles, who founded Synprosis, will remain in the Provepep executive management team.
Showa Denko starts up ethyl acetate plant in Japan
Showa Denko says that its previously announced, new, 100,000-m.t./year ethyl acetate plant at the company’s production complex at Oita, Japan, has started commercial operations. The plant uses the company’s proprietary production process technology. Ethyl acetate is an organic solvent used in wide-ranging applications, including in pharmaceuticals.