IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—25 February 2014

12:02 AM MST | February 25, 2014 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

Mitsubishi Chemical to consolidate several health-care businesses under new company, Life Science Institute

Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, the parent of Mitsubishi Chemical, says that on 1 April 2014, it will establish the Life Science Institute, with its headquarters at Tokyo. Four health-care related companies of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings will come under the Life Science Institute management umbrella on 1 April. The health-care related companies are API Corp. (Tokyo), which is involved in the business of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates; Qualicaps (Yamatokoriyama, Japan), which manufactures capsules for pharmaceutical, and health and nutrition products; Mitsubishi Chemical Medience Corp. (Tokyo), which is involved in clinical testing, new pharmaceutical development support, diagnostic reagents and instruments; and Healthy Life Compass Corp. (Tokyo), which provides self health check services. Mitsubishi Chemical Medience will change its name to LSI Medience Corp. on 1 April. The healthcare solutions department of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings will also be incorporated into the Life Science Institute at the same time. Life Science Institute will have annual sales of about ¥125 billion ($1.22 billion) and will employ over 5,100 people in total, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings says.

Siegfried to elect Andreas Casutt as new board chairman

Siegfried (Zofingen, Switzerland) says that its board of directors has proposed the election of the current vice chairman Andreas Casutt as chairman of the board. Casutt will succeed Gilbert Achermann, who will not stand for re-election at the next shareholders’ meeting scheduled for 26 March 2014, the company says. The board has also proposed the election of Wolfram Carius, head/biopharma strategy at Sanofi (Paris), to the Siegfried board. All other board members will stand for re-election for a further term, Siegfried says. Achermann has been chairman of Siegfried’s board since 2011. Casutt is partner in law firm Niederer Kraft & Frey (Zurich); he was elected to Siegfried’s board in 2010 and appointed vice chairman in 2012.

Actavis to acquire Forest Laboratories for $25 billion

Actavis (Dublin) and Forest Laboratories (New York) say that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Actavis will acquire Forest for a combination of cash and equity valued at about $25 billion, or $89.48/Forest share. Forest is a specialty pharmaceutical company largely focused on the US market. The transaction is expected to close in mid-2014. Actavis is a global specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and manufacturing generic, branded, and biosimilar products. The transaction will combine two of the world's fastest-growing specialty pharmaceutical companies, with combined annual revenues of over $15 billion anticipated for 2015. The combined company will be led by Paul Bisaro, chairman and CEO of Actavis.

Chemie Uetikon acquires amino acid building blocks business in Switzerland from CordenPharma

Chemie Uetikon (Lahr, Germany) says that it acquired the entire business and product portfolio of amino acid building blocks from CordenPharma Switzerland, an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility at Liestal, Switzerland, effective 1 February. Chemie Uetikon is a chemical and pharmaceutical producer with expertise in manufacturing of generic and innovative APIs and a custom manufacturing business focused on the pharmaceutical industry. CordenPharma, which is the pharmaceutical brand of International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG), is a contract manufacturing partner. CordenPharma Switzerland, as a result of the transfer, will now focus on growing its core peptide synthesis and specialized ingredient manufacturing capabilities, such as carbohydrates and synthetic lipids.

Bayer extends offer period for acquisition of Norwegian pharma firm Algeta

Bayer says it is extending the offer period for the previously announced voluntary takeover offer for Norwegian pharmaceutical company Algeta (Oslo), by two days to 26 February 2014. All other terms and conditions of the offer remain unchanged. Bayer is offering 362 Norwegian kroner ($59.7) in cash per Algeta share. The board of directors of Algeta has unanimously recommended that the company's stockholders accept Bayer's offer. Bayer, as of 24 February, had received acceptances and pre-acceptances of the offer for about 40,485,490 shares, representing about 92.17% of Algeta's share capital in response to its voluntary takeover offer. Bayer expects to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of 2014.

FDA and European Medicines Agency strengthen collaboration in pharmacovigilance

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA; London) have set-up a new 'cluster' on pharmacovigilance or medicine safety. Clusters are regular collaborative meetings between the EMA and regulators outside of the European Union (EU), which focus on specific topic areas that have been identified as requiring an intensified exchange of information and collaboration. Building on the recent creation of the EMA’s pharmacovigilance risk assessment committee, this cluster will provide a forum for a more systematic and focused exchange of information on the safety of medicines. As part of the new cluster, discussions on shared pharmacovigilance issues will now take place between the agencies on a monthly basis, FDA says.

Merck KGaA appoints Simon Sturge as new head of biosimilars unit

Merck KGaA says that Simon Sturge will join the company from Boehringer Ingelheim (Ingelheim, Germany) effective 1 March 2014, to head the biosimilars unit. The biosimilars unit is part of Merck’s pharmaceutical businesses alongside with Merck Serono (Darmstadt, Germany), the consumer health division and the Allergopharma unit. Sturge, in his new role, will report to Stefan Oschmann, member of Merck’s executive board and responsible for the company’s pharmaceutical businesses. Sturge succeeds Thierry Hulot, who created the biosimilars unit and took over responsibility for global manufacturing & supply for Merck Serono at the end of last year.

Saudi Kayan gets Excipact certification as pharmaceutical excipient supplier

Excipact says that Saudi Kayan Petrochemical (Al Jubail), an affiliate of Sabic, has received an Excipact certification from SGS, one of its certification bodies. The Excipact certification demonstrates that the Saudi Kayan site manufactures pharmaceutical excipients according to Excipact GMP and good distribution practice (GDP) certification standards. This is the first Saudi site to receive such certification. Excipact, which was a project of the IPEC Federation (Brussels), became a free-standing, not-for-profit company at the end of January.

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