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European drug chemical makers active as they head into annual U.S. conclave

More acquisition and expansion is expected in a booming, consolidating market

by Rick Mullin
March 19, 2018 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 96, Issue 12

Credit: Idena
Indena's new kilolab in Milan is designed to handle potent substances.
A photo of a kilolab dominated by a row of glove box work stations.
Credit: Idena
Indena's new kilolab in Milan is designed to handle potent substances.

TThe European fine chemicals sector steamed into this week’s DCAT Week, a pharmaceutical service event held each year in New York City, with signs of continued strength.

Siegfried, which has grown through a string of acquisitions to become one of the largest contract development and manufacturing organizations, announced it is buying back a finished-dose drug facility near its headquarters in Zofingen, Switzerland, that it sold to Arena Pharmaceuticals in 2017.

Arena manufactured Belviq, a weight-loss drug, in Zofingen and provided services to Siegfried and other customers. Arena no longer needed the plant after selling Belviq to the Japanese drug firm Eisai last year.

Siegfried CEO Rudolf Hanko says a contract with Eisai was an incentive for taking back the plant. In addition, Siegfried needs the capacity for its growing finished-dose drug manufacturing business.

Siegfried recently reported sales growth of nearly 5% in 2017 to $789 million. The company completed three acquisitions in the past three years and says it is still on the acquisition trail.

The contract manufacturer Minakem, meanwhile, said last week that it will invest $18 million to expand its plant in Dunkirk, France. The project will establish a new production line that adds 28 m3 of capacity. Overall, capacity in Dunkirk will increase 54 m3 to a total capacity of 148 m3.

And Indena, a Milan-based firm specializing in drug ingredients from plants, announced the opening of a kilolab for highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company adds that it will open a pilot facility later this year for grinding, extracting, and purifying material from toxic plants.


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