IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—26 March

9:31 AM MDT | March 26, 2013 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

Private equity firm acquires Micron Technologies

Private equity firm Arlington Capital Partners (Washington) says it has acquired Micron Technologies (Malvern, PA), a global provider of particle-size engineering and related analytical services to the pharmaceutical industry. Financial details have not been disclosed. Micron focuses on solving the pharmaceutical industry’s most difficult bioavailability and drug delivery challenges through multiple particle-size reduction technologies, Arlington says. Micron is the leading independent provider of micronization services for solubility enhancement of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Micron maintains facilities offering capabilities including distinctive containment technology for processing highly potent compounds. The acquisition of Micron follows Arlington’s sale of Cambridge Major Laboratories (Germantown, WI), a producer of pharmaceutical intermediates and APIs, to American Capital (Bethesda, MD) for $212 million late last year.

China’s new food and drug safety watchdog, CFDA, becomes operational

The Chinese government says that the new China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA; Beijing) began operating on 22 March. The government announced earlier this month that it would create a stronger food and drug safety watchdog in order to strengthen regulation and boost confidence in the country’s food and drug products. CFDA, which is headed by Zhang Yong, director/food safety commission under the State Council, has integrated the monitoring functions of other government organizations and is a ministerial-level agency that will improve food and drug safety.

BASF increases prices for N,N-dimethylformamide

BASF says it is raising its prices for N,N-dimethylformamide in Europe by €30/m.t. ($38.4/m.t.), or by the equivalent amount in local currency, effective immediately, or as existing contracts permit. N,N-dimethylformamide is a versatile organic solvent that is miscible with water and many other solvents and is used in various industrial applications, such as in the production of pharmaceuticals, fibers, resins, and pesticides, BASF says. BASF produces N,N-dimethylformamide at its sites at Ludwigshafen and Nanjing, China.

DRT acquires acrolein-based intermediates maker

Dérivés Résiniques & Terpéniques (DRT; Dax, France), a company that specializes in the development of rosin and turpentine extracted from pine resin, says it has acquired acrolein-based derivatives producer Société Béarnaise de Synthèse (SBS; Mourenx, France). Financial terms were not disclosed. SBS produces acrolein derivatives used in fragrances, pharmaceuticals, and fine chemicals, DRT says. SBS employs 12 people at its 6,000-ton/year production plant and reports net sales of €3.2 million ($4.1 million) for 2012. It is also the only firm in Europe whose expertise covers the entire acrolein process for fragrances, pharmaceuticals, and fine chemicals, DRT says. The acquisition expands DRT's portfolio of ingredients for the fragrance sector and adds a new area of know-how that opens the door to new markets like pharmaceuticals, DRT says.

FMC breaks ground for MCC manufacturing facility in Thailand

FMC broke ground on its new microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) manufacturing facility at Rayong, Thailand. The company will invest more than $100 million in the region's first fully integrated colloidal MCC manufacturing and blending site to supply the growing Asia market. The Rayong facility will initially manufacture colloidal MCC, which is widely used as a key ingredient in food and beverages. The new facility is expected to be online in late 2014, and the facility's design will allow for future volume expansion and the manufacture of different product lines for the food and pharmaceutical markets.

Beyond IHS Chemical Week:

State's pharmaceutical firm yet to build a plant
from Financial Mail, South Africa

Ketlaphela, a joint venture between state-owned fluorochemical producer Pelchem—a subsidiary of the SA Nuclear Energy Corp—and Swiss drug-firm Lonza, was set up to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients for the production of antiretroviral drugs. It's government's attempt to lower the cost of antiretrovirals, and the plant was expected to start delivering the products in 2016. Now officials are talking about 2017 or 2018.

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