Adderall drives pharma division at Johnson Matthey

By Susan Gotensparre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Johnson matthey Amphetamine Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Johnson Matthey has announced a reassuring business update ahead of
its 31 March year-end, suggesting that Adderall is the driving
force behind a recovery in its pharmaceutical materials business.

In its trading update, Neil Carson, CEO of UK-based Johnson Matthey, announced that the business has progressed well during the second half of the year, with decent output despite dollar weakness and a dilutive impact to earnings with divestment of its non-core ceramics business.

The pharmaceutical materials division performed ahead of last year's figures, which were due to drugs and controlled substances not being launched as expected and expiry of patents, such as carboplatin, a chemotherapy drug.

The turnaround was due to a general recovery in the US, in particular for manufacturing and contract research, and Johnson Matthey's agreement with Barr Pharmaceuticals to supply active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) for Adderall (mixed amphetamine salts), a treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy, acquired from originator Shire Pharmaceuticals and also for Barr's existing generic version.

In addition, Johnson Matthey will supply the API for Barr's generic version of Adderall XR (an extended release product) when launched in April 2009.

The firm recently announced the sale of its Ceramics division for around €226m ($291.9m) in cash, to be completed on 28 February 2007 on condition that regulatory approval is granted in Germany, Spain and Portugal. It was a strategic manoeuvre to focus on its core business in catalysts and fine chemicals, which includes pharmaceutical materials.

"The proceeds from the disposal of the [Ceramics] division will be used to buy back shares and fund bolt-on acquisitions,"​ said Carson.

The precious metal products division is reported to have had a strong third quarter, with favourable trading results, according to Johnson Matthey.

The catalyst division is continuing to bring good growth and benefited from the introduction of new emission regulations in Europe and North America, which increased their sales of heavy duty diesel catalysts.

"The outlook for the full year remains encouraging, with growth in earnings per share (excluding the profit on disposal of Ceramics) expected to be slightly better than the nine per cent rate achieved in the first half,"​ concludes Carson.

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