Industry in brief | Sanofi, Abbvie/Allergan, Adcock Ingram

Industry in brief | Sanofi, Abbvie/Allergan, Adcock Ingram

3 March 2020 - Deborah Wilkes

Sanofi plans to create a European active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) supplier, Abbvie has provided an update on its planned takeover of Allergan, and Adcock Ingram has released financial results.

Sanofi to create API supplier

Sanofi plans to create a European API supplier to “balance the industry’s reliance on API sourced from the Asian region”.

The French pharmaceutical company said the new API “champion” would rank number two in the world with expected sales of approximately EUR1 billion (USD1.1 billion) in 2022.

Sanofi aims to create a standalone company by combining its API commercial and development activities with six of its European API production sites.

The headquarters would be in France, said Sanofi, adding the intention would be to separate the company through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Sanofi expects to take a decision about the IPO by 2022.

“With increasing medicines shortages that critically impact patient care,” commented Sanofi, “the new entity would secure significant API manufacturing and supply capacities that are critical for patients in Europe and beyond.”

Update from Abbvie and Allergan

Abbvie’s USD63 billion takeover of Allergan is likely to take place in the second quarter of 2020.

The two companies said in a statement that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “continues to review the pending transaction”. Abbvie and Allergan said they had entered into a “timing agreement with FTC staff that would likely result in a decision by the FTC early in the second quarter of 2020”.

When the takeover was announced in June 2019, the two companies said completion was expected in early 2020 (click here to read the News story).

In Europe, Abbvie and Allergan have just received final approval from the European Commission.

OTC sales down at Adcock Ingram

Adcock Ingram said its OTC sales in Southern Africa had decreased by 7.8% to ZAR939 million (USD58.5 million) in the six months ended 31 December 2019.

The South African company said the decline was due to the “temporary voluntary sales suspension” of its codeine-containing medicine BronCleer, as well as inventory supply challenges at its Clayville facility and the difficult trading environment.

In January 2020, the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) announced it was seeking sales data on codeine-containing medicines as it reviews whether such products should remain available without a prescription (click here to read the News story).

Noting that it had an extensive range of codeine-containing medicines, Adcock Ingram said it had implemented extensive measures over the last year to “better control the distribution of codeine-containing products and curb abuse”.

“We do not believe that up-scheduling of codeine-containing medicines in a country burdened by lack of access to
healthcare is a suitable outcome,” commented the company, adding that it was in “full support of strict enforcement of controls throughout the supply chain, extending to the point-of-sale”.

On a positive note, Adcock Ingram said a number of its top brands – including Allergex, Alcophyllex and Napamol – had recorded double-digit growth.

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