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BASF sells chitosan biz to firm with eye on pharma

By Gareth MacDonald+

04-Jul-2012

BASF has sold its chitosan biopolymers business to Norway-based Seagarden ASA continuing the divestiture of the non-core units it acquired as part of Cognis in 2010.

The sale – financial terms of which were not disclosed – will see Seagarden take on the BASF unit's four employees and its production facility in Tromsoe, which makes chitosan for a number of industries including the cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors.

Andres-Christian Orthofer told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “In March 2011 BASF announced integration plans for Cognis. Part of this was also the announcement to get disengaded from the production site in Tromsoe as well as the Chitosan business.”

Orthofer went on to explain that while BASF sold most of the chitosan it made to the cosmetics industry the compound does have a number of applications in the drug industry.

Chitosan could also be used as an excipient, for instance in topical delivery of actives, for example in wound treatment” he said, adding that “a USP/NF monograph for Chitosan was published last year.

Pharma chitosan

Seagarden commercial director Bjarte Langhelle confirmed that the pharmaceutical industry is a key target for the firm and its subsidiary Chitinor AS.

He told us that: “We plan to continue to offer chitosans for pharmaceutical uses, under the Chitopharm product line, with corresponding drug master files. We see very promising potentials for uses of chitosans for pharmaceutical applications.”

Langhelle went on to say that: “The proprietary production technology [gained with the acquisition] enables consistent manufacture of high quality, low endotoxin chitosans for pharmaceutical uses” and reiterated that “the Chitopharm line is the only chitosan base available with drug master files.” 

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