India's Matrix Labs continues down acquisition trial

By Phil Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology

India's Matrix Laboratories has made two acquisitions that will
enhance its presence in the European and Asian markets for
pharmaceutical intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients
(APIs).

The company, which specialises in API and finished dose form production, joins a steady stream of Indian companies in the pharmaceutical sector that have been acquiring their way into overseas markets. And the new acquisitions follow Matrix Labs' recent purchase of a controlling stake in Belgian company Docpharma for €217m. In the latest example, Matrix Labs has purchased a 60 per cent controlling stake in China's Mchem Group, as well as and a 43 per cent minority stake in Switzerland's Explora Laboratories. The company said its share in Mchem group would help it backward integrate into China for manufacture of intermediates and consolidate its position as a major global supplier of APIs, and particularly antiretrovirals for treating HIV. The Chinese company makes basic chemicals, intermediates, APIs and finished dosage forms, of which it has 40 registrations approved in China. Mchem recently signed an agreement with the William J Clinton Foundation in the US, making it the only Chinese company supplying intermediates and APIs to the foundation's partners. It also supplies finished dosage forms to the Chinese government-sponsored HIV programme. The share purchase agreement is expected to close by the end of the year. Mchem is based at Xiamen in the east of China's and had sales of approximately €29 million last year. Meanwhile, Explorer, based in Mendrisio, develops APIs and intermediates by chemical, biochemical and fermentation. It is developing biocatalysis technologies for the development of corticosteroids and other high potency APIs, as well as specialised and modified release dosage forms. It is also working on nucleic acids - used in antiviral and anticancer drugs - and has filed two patents in the area of immobilisation of enzymes, which is critical for the development of processes involving enzymatic reactions. Matrix Labs' announcement comes after last month's decision by Strides Arcolab - once a potential merger partner for Matrix Labs - to buy a majority stake in Italian contract pharmaceutical manufacturer Beltapharm SpA, as well as a sterile manufacturing facility in Poland. In the same month Sun Pharma bought raw materials and dosage form manufacturing operations in Hungary from Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, in June, Torrent Pharmaceuticals agreed to buy German generics house Heumann Pharma for an undisclosed sum. Earlier that month Malladi snapped up US API supplier Novus Fine Chemicals for €19m, while in May UK-based contract researcher Synprotec was acquired by India's Dishman Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals. External links to companies or organisations mentioned in thisstory: Matrix Laboratories Mchem Group Explora Laboratories

Related topics: Clinical Development, Ingredients

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