IHS Chemical Week


Pharma/fine chemicals roundup—4 February 2014

7:09 AM MST | February 4, 2014 | By DEEPTI RAMESH

Johnson Matthey appoints new CEO, fine chemicals sales up

Johnson Matthey announced the appointment of its new CEO and reported the third-quarter results, covering 1 October 2013 through 29 January 2014. Robert MacLeod will succeed Neil Carson as CEO when Carson steps down following the group’s annual results on 5 June. Carson will remain on the board until end of September, when he is due to retire.
Johnson Matthey's fine chemicals’ sales were up 7%, to £76 million ($124 million), and operating profit was well ahead of last year’s third-quarter performance, which was hurt by issues in the company’s UK active pharma ingredients manufacturing business. “Performance in the UK business has stabilized, and our US [active pharmaceutical ingredient] business continues to benefit from good demand across its portfolio of products,” Johnson Matthey says. New businesses performed in line with expectations, with sales of £21 million compared with £15 million in the year-earlier quarter and a reduced operating loss.

Evonik opens biodegradable polymers plant at Darmstadt targeting health-care sector

Evonik Industries says that it will commission a new Resomer plant at Darmstadt in the second quarter. The plant, in addition to the development and manufacture of the products, will also include formulation development activities for pharma customers. Evonik acquired the Resomer business from Boehringer Ingelheim in March 2011 when it agreed to keep production and development at the Ingelheim site of Boehringer Ingelheim for 36 months to assure business continuity.
The Resomer business comprises a portfolio of standard and customized polymers used in the manufacture of medical devices and pharmaceutical formulations. The polymers are based on lactic and glycolic acids and are fully biodegradable in the body. Biodegradable polymers are used for controlled release depot formulations, such as gel, microspheres and rod implants, with a therapeutic effect for up to six months. The lactic acid polymers are also used to manufacture of biodegradable medical devices such as surgical screws, nails, and plates that disintegrate without trace after a defined life span in the body, making further surgery to extract them unnecessary.

Aesica appoints commercial managing director

Aesica Pharmaceuticals (Newcastle, UK) says it has appointed Ian Muir to the newly created position of commercial managing director, effective 24 February. The position is reflective of the company’s plans for further global expansion and has international responsibility for all aspects of the commercial business, Aesica says. Muir’s responsibilities cross all three of the company’s service offerings in active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacture, formulation development and formulated products and he will lead the expansion of the business into new growth markets such as China and Japan.
Muir holds a PhD in pharmaceutical science and with over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, his most recent role was at Catalent where he was responsible for the global provision of contract development and manufacturing services for oral dose forms.

Lupin acquires Dutch firm

Pharmaceutical company Lupin (Mumbai) says it has acquired Nanomi (Oldenzaal, the Netherlands). Nanomi has patented technology platforms to develop complex injectable products. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. With the acquisition, Lupin forays into the technology intensive complex injectables space. “With the use of Nanomi’s proprietary technology platform, Lupin would be able to make significant inā€roads into the niche area of complex injectables,” says Vinita Gupta, CEO of Lupin. Lupin develops and produces a range of branded and generic formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

AVA Biochem starts commercial production of renewable 5-HMF

AVA Biochem (Muttenz, Switzerland) says that it has begun commercial-scale production of high-purity renewable 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) at Clariant’s Infrapark at Muttenz. The product is made from renewable biomass and in the first phase will produce up to 20 m.t./year.  5-HMF is used in a wide range of applications and sectors, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, and food.

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