IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—21 May 2013

9:39 AM MDT | May 21, 2013 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

Cambrex completes Charles City facility expansion

Cambrex (East Rutherford, NJ) says it has completed the previously announced expansion of the large-scale manufacturing facility at Charles City, IA. The major facility expansion was completed in just over 10 months from initial groundbreaking and has created over 60 new positions at the Charles City facility.

The facility will be used to increase cGMP active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturing capabilities for both existing products and a new product currently going through the later stages of FDA clinical review that is expected to be commercialized in the near term, Cambrex says. The facility expansion adds an additional 40,000 gal of reactor capacity, which equates to the potential for 10s of m.t. of API production on an annual basis.

API business of Dr. Reddy’s reports rise in sales

The pharmaceutical services and active ingredients (PSAI) business of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (Hyderabad, India) reports a 29% rise in sales in the company’s fiscal year, ended 31 March, compared with the previous fiscal year, to 30.7 billion Indian rupees ($556 million). Earnings figures for the PSAI business have not been disclosed. Dr. Reddy’s has the second-largest active pharmaceutical ingredient business in the world in terms of sales, after Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (PetaŠł• Tiqwa, Israel). During the fiscal year, 47 drug master files (DMF) were filed globally, including 5 in the United States and 10 in Europe, Dr. Reddy’s says. The cumulative DMF filings as of 31 March were 577, the company says.

Actavis to acquire Warner Chilcott in $8.5-billion deal

Actavis (Parsippany, NJ) and Warner Chilcott (Rockaway, NJ) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Actavis will acquire Warner Chilcott in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $8.5 billion, the companies have announced. The merger will create a global specialty pharmaceutical company with approximately $11 billion in combined annual revenue and the third-largest US specialty pharmaceutical company with approximately $3 billion in annual revenues focused on 4 core therapeutic categories: women's health, gastroenterology, urology, and dermatology.

UK pharma companies report lower sales volumes in last 6 months

Sales by the UK chemical and pharmaceutical industry to customers declined during the past six months, according to the latest survey carried out by the Chemical Industries Association (CIA; London). CIA says that 44% of companies report lower sales volumes and only 22% recorded an increase. In addition, 52% of respondents say margins were squeezed and were narrowing, with only 13% of the survey participants saying a margin improvement was noticeable. Responses confirm the impact of a difficult economic environment and high energy costs through a long winter, CIA says.

Bayer to acquire German pharmaceutical company

Bayer says it has signed an agreement to acquire all of the shares of Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk (Darmstadt, Germany), a privately held pharmaceutical company specializing in pharmacy-only herbal medicines. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. Steigerwald’s product portfolio includes Iberogast for the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders and Laif for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. The transaction is expected to close in July. Steigerwald generated sales of €61.3 million ($79 million) in 2012. The company employs about 180 people and has a manufacturing site at Darmstadt. Bayer has committed to take over all of Steigerwald’s employees.

Merck KGaA increases commitment to venture capital fund for start-up biotech firms to €100 million

Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) says it will increase its commitment to its strategic corporate venture capital fund MS Ventures to €100 million ($129 million). MS Ventures is the corporate venture capital fund of Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. MS Ventures was originally established in March 2009 with a €40-million commitment to invest in emerging biotechnology companies. “Biotech companies and their venture capital investors are a critical source of ideas and innovation for our industry,” says Stefan Oschmann, Merck executive board member and CEO of the Merck Serono division. “Our continued commitment to MS Ventures underlines our dedication to work closely with the innovation ecosystem of venture capital, entrepreneurs, biotech companies, and universities to create the next generation of technologies and drugs that have the potential to improve patient outcomes.”

Beyond IHS Chemical Week:

Pfizer puts Lipitor API site up for sale as patent expiration causes overcapacity
from in-PharmaTechnologist.com

Lower sales of off-patent former blockbuster Lipitor have prompted Pfizer to try and sell off its third Irish API plant in as many years.

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