Hikma: Ben Venue tech transfer and network investments to boost injectables biz
Year-on-year growth across Hikma’s injectables sector was 33% for 2014, but yesterday the firm reported its 2015 figures, and the business segment remained flat for the year with global revenues of $710m (€627m).
This was in line with previous guidance, according to CFO Khalid Nabilsi who attributed this to “extremely strong performance” in 2014 and said the firm expected mid-to-high single digit growth for the coming year due to the launch of several products from the Bedford Labs portfolio – acquired from Boehringer Ingelheim for $300m in May 2014 – and for its core operating margin to improve by controlling the cost of its injectables network.
Last year, Hikma’s capital expenditure was $82m, half of which was to upgrade and maintain its equipment and facilities in the Middle-East North Africa (MENA) market, while the other half was spent in the US and Europe, primarily to expand its injectables manufacturing capacity.
This included the transfer and installation of equipment from Ben Venue Laboratories, the former sterile contract manufacturing site shutdown in 2013 following years of regulatory issues and acquired by Hikma as an option on the Bedford Labs deal. The (empty) site has since been sold to Xellia.
“The Hikma and Bedford teams have also done a fantastic job in leveraging the machinery and equipment acquired from the Ben Venue facility,” CEO Said Darwazah said during a conference call yesterday. “An enormous amount of equipment has been moved to our Cherry Hill [New Jersey] and Portuguese facilities, including nine lyophilisers that were moved to Portugal.”
The firm also received a boost last November through the return to health of the Portugese facility, hit by a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Warning Letter for violating GMP in 2014.
“We started expanding our injectable facility in Portugal, increasing our scale and production capacity in support of our long-term focus on future growth for the Group,” Darwazah continued.
“Our global footprint remains a key differentiator in our injectables business. We have achieved a lot in 2015 across our three main geographies, and we have clear objectives for 2016 that we ensure we continue to deliver future growth and profitability.”