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Flurry Of Investments In Fine Chemicals

European pharma contractors spend on facilities

by Rick Mullin
December 8, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 49

The pharmaceutical fine chemicals sector witnessed a flurry of activity in Europe last week, with three firms announcing investments and one its first new drug project.

Siegfried Group said it will acquire Hameln Pharma, a German manufacturer of sterile liquid drugs, for $61 million. The deal bolsters the Swiss firm’s finished- drug manufacturing business and follows its 2012 acquisition of Alliance Medical Products, an Irvine, Calif., formulator of sterile liquid pharmaceuticals.

Johnson Matthey announced its acquisition of a chemical manufacturing site built by GlaxoSmithKline in Annan, Scotland. The facility, most recently owned by Bakhu Pharma, is undergoing an operations and quality systems upgrade and is expected to begin producing active pharmaceutical ingredients in 2016. Financial details were not disclosed.

And WeylChem, a division of International Chemicals Investors Group, kicked off the second portion of a $30 million investment in its Frankfurt site. The company will spend $11 million to improve energy infrastructure in this round.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese fine chemicals firm Hovione filed an Investigational New Drug Application for a topical acne treatment based on a crystalline form of the antibiotic minocycline. Currently minocycline is only administered orally. Its efficacy is well established, but it is associated with side effects due to systemic exposure, according to Hovione.

The filing is the first of its type for Hovione. Taiwan-based fine chemicals maker ScinoPharm took a similar step recently when it announced a pact with a Chinese firm to launch a Chinese version of regadenoson, an Astellas Pharma drug used in stress tests of patients who can’t undergo exercise-based stress.


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