IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—26 November 2013

5:53 AM MST | November 26, 2013 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

Johnson Matthey’s fine chemicals division reports rise in sales

The fine chemicals division of Johnson Matthey (London), which comprises the company's active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing business, the catalysis and chiral technologies business, and research chemicals, generated revenue of £185 million ($298 million), in its fiscal first half ended 30 September 2013, up 8% year-on-year (YOY). Sales from the division’s API-manufacturing business increased by 7%, to £105 million.  Sales in the research chemicals business were ahead by 4% YOY, to £41 million, with growth in Europe and Asia partly offset by slower sales in North America. Catalysis and chiral technologies sales were unchanged in the first half at £15 million.

Aesica appoints new head of Cramlington API facility

Aesica Pharmaceuticals (Newcastle, UK) says it has appointed Catherine Dick to the new role of site manufacturing manager at Cramlington, United Kingdom. Catherine brings strong experience and knowledge of operations at Cramlington, having joined Aesica in 2007 as the site’s quality manager, the company says. In 2010, she was promoted to head of quality for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), responsible for the quality and regulatory compliance of all products manufactured across both the Cramlington and the Queenborough, United Kingdom API manufacturing sites. “Catherine possesses strong expertise and a solid knowledge of implementing work on multiple, quality APIs,” says Steve Barker, operations director, API business unit at Aesica.

Merck KGaA consumer health turnaround on track

Merck KGaA says that its consumer health division has made substantial progress in driving the turnaround of the business, raising profitability levels to those of other global OTC industry leaders. Sales in the division increased 7%, to €131 million ($176 million), in the third quarter. Based on its third-quarter earnings, the profit margin or Ebitda pre one-time items as a percentage of sales, was at 18.4%, significantly higher than the 14.2% in September 2011, the company says. The improvement was mainly due to a strong focus on strategic brands such as Bion, Nasivin, Femibion, and Kytta, and better allocation of resources in key markets, Merck says. “The current results confirm that our focus on building strong global and regional brands, developing a robust innovation pipeline, and driving growth, particularly in emerging markets, is delivering consistent results for the business,” says Udit Batra, CEO and president/consumer health.

Beyond IHS Chemical Week:

GSK continues investment in UK, with £25 million API plant expansion
from in-PharmaTechnologist.com

A £25 million ($40 million) investment at an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) facility in Scotland will allow GlaxoSmithKline closer control over its manufacturing network efficiency, the firm says. Once earmarked for divesture, GSK's API facility at Montrose, United Kingdom received a £25 million boost in order to support the delivery of its new pipeline. The ingredients for four new products will be manufactured from the site, with 25 new jobs created in the process.

Shasun Pharma to invest Rs2 billion for expansion
from Business Line, India

Chennai-based Shasun Pharmaceuticals will invest 2 billion Indian rupees ($32 million) this fiscal to scale up production capacity at its manufacturing units in India and the United Kingdom. It will also set up a greenfield factory in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. About 80% of the investments will go towards raising capacity for active pharmaceuticals ingredients (API) and the remaining for formulations.

JLL expects to buy more CMOs
from FiercePharma Manufacturing

Contract manufacturing is a growing piece of the industry as drugmakers turn to outside operators to keep a lid on their own manufacturing investments and costs. But the industry looks inefficient to Paul Levy, cofounder of the investment group that just announced a $2.6 billion deal to buy DSM Pharmaceutical Products and merge it with Patheon. He sees opportunity in rolling up more players into a larger company. But with other private investors in the market, he may find competition looking over the same targets. "The pharmaceutical manufacturing industry is highly fragmented," Levy told Reuters. "We'd like to think we'll have some good opportunities to build the business through some modestly-sized acquisitions over the years."

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