Therapeutic areas in focus
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Aptar Pharma completes first phase of global expansion
Aptar Pharma has announced that it has successfully completed the first phase of an expansion programme, costing around $180m. The global expansion aims to fulfil growing customer capacity needs for injection system solutions. It began in 2020 and intends to ultimately enable Aptar Pharma to produce over 10 billion injectable component units each year once it is completed.
Injectables make up around 50% of the pharmaceutical drug development pipeline, with a 40% market share, and between 2016 and 2020 the sales growth of injectables was over 10% compound annual growth rate. This is largely driven by biologics and the ever-growing demand for high value solutions, which Aptar Pharma aims to develop.
Gael Touya, President of Aptar Pharma, said, “Our planned expansion programme proved timely and was expedited by the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. The investments we’re making to expand manufacturing capacity and in new, digitalised processes will benefit our customers well into the future.”
The expansion includes facilities and investments in France and the US, with a factory in Granville, France, expected to be open and operational by 2024.
Gabriel Zenker, President of Aptar Pharma Injectables, commented: “With this programme, we’re transforming our organisation to offer pharma companies of all sizes enhanced ways to fasttrack and de-risk their product development. In doing so, we’re fulfilling our commitment to making Aptar Pharma a first-choice, longterm partner for those seeking sustainable success for their drug development pipelines as part of our mission to shape the future of injectables together with our customers.”
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Johnson & Johnson to buy Abiomed for $17bn
Johnson & Johnson is planning to purchase Abiomed Inc for approximately $17.3bn, or $380 per share. Shareholders are also in line to receive an additional $35 per share if certain goals are accomplished. The acquisition of Abiomed is intended to build on J&J’s technology, which assists heart function.
J&J is hoping to focus on gaining higher returns from its medical and pharmaceutical technology divisions, while Abiomed has been focusing on Impella heart pumps ‒ the sale of which makes almost all of its profits.
Impella pumps are small devices that are implanted through the arteries into the heart, helping it to continue to move blood throughout the patient’s body. They increase the rate of blood flow, or can be used for patients undergoing high-risk surgeries, ensuring that the heart remains functioning throughout the surgery.
Marie Thibault, an analyst at BTIG, noted that Abiomed has a “monopoly position in mechanical circulatory support, an extensive product pipeline, and was expected to return to mid-teens revenue growth in the outyears.”
If Abiomed were to accept an alternative offer or terminate its merger agreement, it would have to pay J&J $550m, although Thibault notes that it is highly unlikely that another offer will arise given the premium J&J is offering. At the end of September, Abiomed had zero debt and $937m, and its sale price to J&J relates to its cash value of around $16.6bn. The acquisition is expected to take place by the end of March 2023.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Norstella and Citeline merge to create $5bn pharma tech firm
Norstella, an umbrella company, has completed its merger with pharmaceutical intelligence company Citeline, which was first announced last June.
Citeline provides intelligence, data and software for clinical trials, development and regulatory compliance. It will now join four other companies under Norstella: pharma intelligence unit Evaluate, market access specialist MMIT, healthcare data analytics software provider Panalgo and market access consultancy The Dedham Group.
As a result of the completion of the merger, Norstella has become a $5bn group with over 1,500 employees across the five branches. Its objective is to guide life sciences companies through the drug development process so patients can access therapies more quickly.
According to the company, it can advise on areas such as “revealing an unanticipated positive clinical outcome or quantifying the consequence of a delayed therapy to market”, while also helping drug developers handle and apply large amounts of real-world data effectively, and communicate the clinical efficacy of a new therapy.
Norstella chief executive Mike Gallup stated: “We believe that patient access starts with identifying unmet needs and doesn’t end until a patient has a therapy in hand. As the industry moves toward highly targeted therapies focused on smaller patient populations, our clients need solutions that provide actionable answers to critical business questions to help bring drugs to market quicker – ultimately helping patients receive treatment sooner.”