Actavis buys Chinese API manufacturer

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food and drug administration

Actavis has purchased a 90 per cent stake in Zhejiang Chiral
Medicine Chemicals (CMC), a Hangzhou, China-based active
pharmaceutical ingredients (API) maker.

The move, which is for an undisclosed sum, is in keeping with the Icelandic generics giant's previously stated strategy to aggressively reduce costs, particularly in terms of its API production operations. The new purchase will also complement the activities of Actavis' existing manufacturing facility in China's southern Guangdong province. The site currently produces a wide range of tablets, capsules, suspensions, creams and ointments. Overall though, the acquisition of CMC and the improved access to APIs that it provides will help Actavis expand its production capacity and maintain the momentum of its extensive program of product launches. The firm's Bulgarian subsidiary for example, has introduced 29 new products to the local market this quarter alone. The deal is also part of the expansion program that has already seen Actavis acquire Pfizer's manufacturing facility in Nerviano, Italy, this year. To date, the firm has established a presence in 44 countries around the world, with 21 facilities involved in the production of generic pharmaceutical products. Increases manufacturing capacity CMC, which was founded in 2001, currently employs around 200 people at its 15,000 square meter API manufacturing facility. The company already supplies a variety of drug ingredients to pharmaceutical companies both inside and outside China. CMC holds Chinese State Food and Drug Administration good manufacturing practice (GMP) certificates for a range of ingredients, including methyldopa and carbidopa. Additionally, according to CMC's website, the company is currently seeking US FDA GMP certification for the anticonvulsant gabapentin. Commenting on the deal, Actavis' CEO, Robert Wessman, CEO said: "This new facility will enable Actavis to further reduce its manufacturing costs and is an important extension of our activities in China. In addition, this further strengthens our backward integration, increasing our API manufacturing capacity." ​The addition of CMC to Actavis' portfolio of global API sites, which already includes several state of the art facilities in India, will also improve the Icelandic firm's standing as an API supplier to drug makers worldwide. The deal increases Actavis' workforce in China to around 500 employees.

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