Mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring

Published on: 

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management

PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management-08-01-2007, Volume 3, Issue 8

A roundup of company moves and positioning from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and contract service providers.

Whitehouse Station, NJ (July 25)Merck & Co., Inc. agreed to acquire NovaCardia, Inc., a privately held clinical-stage pharmaceutical company. Merck will pay $350 million plus the amount of cash on hand at the time of closing. NovaCardia's lead product candidate, KW-3902, an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, is in Phase III clinical trials. NovaCardia will spin out a new corporate entity to support clinical development of the company's second compound, K201 (JTV-519) for atrial fibrillation. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close within 45 days of the announced acquisition on July 25.

Shanghai (July 24)Wuxi PharmaTech, a contract research and manufacturing firm, filed a Form F-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering priced at roughly $120 million. Wuxi PharmaTech's operations are grouped into two segments: laboratory services (consisting of discovery chemistry, service biology, analytical, pharmaceutical development, and process development services) and manufacturing (manufacturing of advanced intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients), according to the company's prospectus. The company says it provides services to 70 pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers, including nine of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies based on 2006 revenues. The company posted 2006 revenues of $69.9 million.

Redwood City, CA (July 19)Codexis, Inc., a private biotechnology company specialized in biocatalysis, acquired BioCatalytics, Inc. (Pasadena, CA), a private company producing custom and off-the-shelf enzymes used in chemical process manufacturing by pharmaceutical and fine-chemical companies. BioCatalytics will remain at its location in Pasadena. David Rozzell, former president of BioCatalytics, will join Codexis as vice-president of enzyme products and services in the Pharma Services Group.


Bagsvaerd, Denmark (July 18)Novozymes will acquire Biocon's (Bangalore, India) enzyme business for about DKK 551 million ($102 million), thus strengthening its position in India. Biocon is an Indian biotechnology company specializing in biopharmaceuticals, contract research, clinical research, and enzymes.

Zurich (July 18)—The specialty-chemicals company CABB GmbH (Sulzbach am Taunus, Germany) acquired SF-Chem (Pratteln, Switzerland), a custom manufacturer to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. The combined company will specialize in manufacturing and marketing chlorine and sulfur compounds, which include specialized raw materials and intermediates. The combined company will have annual revenues of CHF 400 million ($330 million).

Plymouth Meeting, PA (July 16)Beijing Med-Pharm Corp. reached a definitive agreement to acquire a minority interest in Sunstone Pharmaceutical. Sunstone is a privately held manufacturer of primarily over-the-counter medicines with operations in Tangshan, China.

Bristol, TN (July 16)King Pharmaceuticals and JHP Pharmaceuticals (Saddle River, NJ) signed an asset-purchase agreement, whereby JHP will acquire King's Rochester, Michigan sterile-manufacturing facility, some of King's products that are manufactured there, and the related contract manufacturing business. The companies also entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement under which JHP will provide fill and finish support to King's hemostatic product, "Thrombin-JMI" (thrombin, topical, bovine, USP).

Boston (July 12)Point Therapeutics reduced its workforce from 33 employees to 8 employees during June and July to conserve its remaining cash balance. The total charge for this workforce reduction is approximately $260,000. The company will reduce its workforce further by replacing its employees with a variable consulting team. In addition, the company will move out of its current headquarters this month to a smaller, temporary suburban space.

Ahmedabad, India (July 9)—Indian contract-manufacturing organization Dishman Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals will buy Solvay Pharmaceuticals's (Brussels) fine-chemicals and vitamin businesses for an undisclosed sum. The transaction includes Solvay's Veenendal, Netherlands, facilities, as well as the intellectual property rights for fine chemicals, vitamin D, and vitamin D analogues.

Stuttgart, Germany (July 1)The Bosch Group acquired Pharmatec GmbH (Dresden, Germany) from Fresenius ProServe GmbH (Bad Homburg, Germany). This transaction includes Pharmatec's subsidiary Schoeller-Bleckmann Medizintechnik GmbH (Ternitz, Austria) and was approved by the relevant antitrust authorities without conditions. Pharmatec is a pharmaceutical-plant engineering company that focuses on hygienic and sterile-process technologies.