IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—19 November 2013

3:15 AM MST | November 19, 2013 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

DSM and JLL form $2-billion pharma services firm by merging DSM Pharmaceutical Products with Patheon

DSM and JLL Partners (New York), a middle-market private equity firm, will create a new company, which will be a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) for the pharmaceutical industry, with anticipated sales of about $2 billion in 2014, DSM says. The company will be formed by combining DSM Pharmaceutical Products (Parsippany, NJ), the custom manufacturing and technology business of DSM, with Patheon (Toronto), a portfolio company of JLL, and it will be 51% owned by JLL and 49% by DSM. The name of the new company will be announced in the coming months. The new company will have an end-to-end offering from finished dosage form to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and a global footprint of 23 locations across North America, Europe, Latin America and Australia, with about 8,300 employees. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2014. DSM will deconsolidate DSM Pharmaceutical Products after closing.

Restructuring to go ahead at fine chemical plant in France after court evicts protesting workers

About 30 workers who had occupied the manufacturing site of fine chemical company Calaire Chimie at Calais, France, for about three weeks, left the premises on 14 November after a court at Boulogne, France ordered them to allow access to and from the site. The workers had been protesting a restructuring planned by Synthexim (Calais), the new owner of Calaire Chimie. The restructuring, which involves the loss of 111 jobs out of Calaire Chimie's total of 197, will go ahead following the court's decision. Synthexim, a producer of pharmaceutical intermediates, brought the court case to evict the workers from the site. Calaire Chimie, which specializes in pharma ingredients, was a subsidiary of Tessenderlo Group until December 2012, when the business was sold to International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG). However, ICIG announced early this year that Calaire Chimie's financial situation was much worse than Tessenderlo had led ICIG to believe. Calaire Chimie entered legal administration on 28 May and the administrators launched the search for a buyer. The administrators selected Synthexim out of about 10 bidders to acquire the business and approved Synthexim's restructuring proposal, including the planned job cuts. The evicted workers, meanwhile, say they plan to appeal the court decision.

Ipca acquires 50% stake in Indian API producer Avik

Ipca Laboratories (Mumbai), a manufacturer of formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (Mumbai) that it has entered into an agreement with Avik Pharmaceutical, a privately held company, to acquire a 50% stake in Avik, for about 65.1 million Indian rupees ($1.05 million). Avik was formed in 1979 and is involved in the development, manufacturing and marketing of APIs from its manufacturing facilities located at Vapi in the state of Gujarat in India.

Codexis net loss widens

Codexis (Redwood City, CA), a company that engineers enzymes for pharmaceutical, biofuel, and chemical production, reports a net loss of $9.26 million in the third quarter of 2013, compared with a net loss of $2.30 million in the year-ago quarter. Third-quarter sales decreased 85%, compared with the year-ago period, to $3.94 million. For the first nine months of 2013, Codexis reports a net loss of $31.48 million compared with a net loss of $15.31 million in the first nine months of 2012. Nine-month sales decreased 72.1%, to $22.39 million.
Codexis says that, as a result of the termination of its collaborative research agreement with Shell in August 2012 and the resulting loss of associated collaborative R&D revenue, year-on-year comparisons for its first three quarters of 2013 are not an appropriate measure of the company’s financial performance. Codexis recorded a net loss of $12.60 million and sales of $6.97 million in the second quarter of 2013.

NorthEdge Capital acquires UK firm Fine Industries

NorthEdge Capital (Manchester, UK), a private equity firm focused on investing in businesses in the North of England, has acquired Fine Industries (Seal Sands, UK), a manufacturer of fine chemicals. The £25.5million ($35.8 million) investment will accelerate the capital expenditure program to increase capacity and support the company’s growth ambitions, NorthEdge Capital says. Fine Industries manufactures fine chemicals for use in the crop protection, pharmaceutical and specialty chemicals markets. The business, founded in 1977, employs 270 staff and had revenues of £40million in the year ended 30 September 2013.

Sorrento to acquire antibody-drug conjugation technology

Sorrento Therapeutics (San Diego), a publicly traded, development-stage biopharmaceutical company, says it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Concortis Biosystems (San Diego) in a deal that provides Sorrento with a comprehensive technology platform for generation of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Sorrento, under the terms of the agreement, will issue an aggregate of 1,331,978 shares of its common stock to the Concortis shareholders.

Merck KGaA to invest €80 million to build pharmaceutical facility in China

Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) says its biopharmaceutical division Merck Serono (Darmstadt), will invest €80 million ($107 million) to build a new pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in the Nantong Economical Technological Development Area, in the Greater Shanghai region. The facility will focus on the bulk production and packaging of Glucophage, Concor, and Euthyrox, Merck’s brands for the treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and thyroid disorders, respectively. Construction on the facility is scheduled to start in 2014 and will be completed in 2016, with commercial production expected to begin in 2017, Merck says.

Wacker Biotech acquires biologics firm in Germany

Wacker Biotech, a subsidiary of Wacker Chemie, announced plans to acquire a production site for bioengineered pharmaceutical proteins, including the associated business, from BioNet Ventures. The two companies signed a purchase agreement, which covers Wacker's acquisition of Scil Proteins Production, including the patent portfolio, at the Scil site at Halle, Germany. The transaction is expected to close early next year.

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