3. May 2012 12:53
Novartis has agreed a $1.525 billion cash deal to acquire New York-based dermatology generic specialist Fougera Pharmaceuticals.
The acquisition will create the world’s largest generic dermatology medicines company when combined with Novartis’ own generic arm Sandoz.
Jeff George, Global Head of Sandoz, said the deal will give patients access “to high quality, affordable dermatological medicines”.
Fougera, which employs around 700 staff primarily in two main sites in New York, earned net sales last year of $429m from its 45 products and 200 SKUs. It operates two main businesses: Fougera Pharmaceuticals and PharmaDerm – a branded specialty company with 17 brands and more than 40 SKUs.
According to 2011 IMS data, the Sandoz and Fougera’s combined businesses will generate global annual sales of around $620m, primarily in the US.
“Fougera and Sandoz serve many of the same customers in the US, creating significant sales and cost synergies with Sandoz’s sizeable US generics business,” said Don DeGolyer, President of Sandoz US. “We welcome the team from Fougera Pharmaceuticals into Sandoz and Novartis.”
The transaction, which still required regulatory approval, is expected to be completed towards the end of 2012.
1. May 2012 11:59
Novartis is expected to overtake Pfizer and become the biggest manufacturer of prescription medicines by 2018, according to new consensus data.
Research by EvaluatePharma estimates Novartis will record sales of more than $50bn in six years’ time, with its eye care business Alcon and generic unit Sandoz driving growth.
But the outlook is not good for US-based companies with only Pfizer remaining in the top five by 2018 and Sanofi, GSK and Roche maintaining a strong presence.
Data found that despite generic competition on Diovan and Glivec and disappointment from key projects such as Gilenya and its new respiratory franchise, Novartis is expected to record annual growth between 2011 and 2018 of 1.2%.
This is in contrast with AstraZeneca whose annual sales are expected to drop from $32.4bn in 2011 to $22.1bn in 2018 representing a negative growth of 5.3%.
Gilead Sciences is expected to experience the biggest increase in annual growth of the top fifteen companies with data showing sales will rise from $8.1bn to $15.7bn at a rate of 9.9% per year.
Novo Nordisk is also forecast to enter the top 15 ranked companies for the first time due to an increasing demand for its diabetes medicines. Annual growth is expected to be 7% until 2018 with sales totalling nearly $20bn.
One of the biggest casualties, data found, will be Eli Lilly. The Indianapolis research-based company currently claims to be the 10th biggest pharmaceutical company in the world. But Lilly fails to make the top 15 companies after research found a drop in sales will see it fall to 17th place by 2018. But researchers did note that Lilly’s Alzheimer’s candidate, solanezumab, could reverse the trend if it successfully enters the lucrative market.
Lilly will be replaced in the list by German healthcare giant Bayer, which also enters the top 15 global companies for the first time, with annual sales of around $16.5bn by 2018 boosted by Xarelto.
16. January 2012 14:44
The global generic market is likely to capitalise on the patent expiration of a host of blockbuster drugs in the next five years, a new report predicts.
Frost & Sullivan’s Generic Pharmaceuticals Market – A Global Analysis estimates that revenues will increase at an annual rate of nearly 10% and reach $231bn in 2017 as governments and healthcare service providers search for cheaper medication.
Several major brands worth $150bn between 2010 and 2017 will lose exclusivity which Aiswariya Chidambaram, a Frost & Sullivan research analyst, says will “fuel the growth” of the market.
The report found that leading generic manufacturers have been creating strategic alliances with pharma companies for marketing rights and the exclusivity in producing generic versions of blockbuster products such as Lipitor, Cozaar and Crestor.
Market leaders such as Teva, Sandoz and Mylan are also focusing their efforts on biosimilars to provide a competitive edge that also presents huge profit gains.
However, the report adds, one potential obstacle which may prevent growth is austerity measures imposed by governments around the world.
Instead, generic manufacturers should focus on the product segments they wish to compete in and the appropriate time of entry into the market if they are to be successful, the report advises.
“Large multinational generic firms need to adopt a differentiated approach by opting for products with technologically challenging formulations, products which require significant regulatory support and products with limited availability of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs),” said Aiswariya Chidambaram. “Small and medium-sized firms should focus on products with relatively higher profit margins.”
22. July 2011 11:48
Novartis posted an increase in profits of 12% to $2.73 billion in Q2 of 2011 after strong sales of new products and growth in emerging markets.
Net sales grew by 27% to $14.9 billion after the recent launch of multiple sclerosis medicine Gilenya, and strong results from its generic drug division Sandoz, and eyecare unit Alcon.
Joseph Jimenez, CEO, Novartis, says the company’s diversified healthcare portfolio is “enabling us to generate superior results”.
The Swiss-based company also released four new products during the second-quarter of this year.
The FDA approved both Afinitor for advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours and Arcapta Neohaler for COPD; whilst the EU granted its approval for Lucentis to treat retinal vein occlusion, and hypertension medicine Rasilamlo.
The FDA also accepted an application to expand Menveo’s indication to toddlers and infants as young as two months, with an additional application filed in Europe for the Janus kinase inhibitor INC424 to myelofibrosis.
Mr Jimenez said the company’s “excellent execution behind a sound strategy” has resulted in another successful quarter.
“We achieved strong sales growth of 19% in constant currencies and margin improvement of 0.4 percentage points in US dollars. We further demonstrated the success of our R&D strategy with four major approvals and two filings in the second quarter.”
14. February 2011 14:56
Novartis is taking steps to prevent one of its drugs being shipped to the USA and used in executions.
Sodium thiopental is manufactured by Novartis’ generics unit Sandoz for commercialisation by Archimedes Pharma and is one of the drugs commonly used in lethal injections.
The company has urged its subsidiaries not to sell the product to third parties who may have supply arrangements with the US.
The drug is no longer produced in the US, as companies such as Hospira have moved its production to Europe to prevent its use in executions.
In November, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced restrictions on the export to the US of sodium thiopental, but refused to ban exports entirely as the product can have legitimate uses.
In a statement, Sandoz and Novartis said that they only support “the authorised use of injectable thiopental”, for the induction of anaesthesia, and do not support “the sale of this or any product for use in non-approved treatments”.
Clive Stafford Smith, the Director of Reprieve UK, has urged other pharma companies to take similar action. “It seems to me that the pharmaceutical companies need to get together and agree to some Hippocratic Oath whereby they only sell their drugs for positive purposes and not to execute people,” he said.
US states are becoming so desperate to access drugs like sodium thiopental that last month it was found that the state of Arizona had purchased drugs for lethal injections from a small pharmaceutical operation based in an office in West London.