Israeli generics manufacturer Teva has agreed to buy for $460 million (£280 million) in cash a 57 per cent stake in privately held Japanese generics manufacturer Taiyo. Taiyo boasts a portfolio of 550 generic drugs, which generated sales of $530 million in 2010. Japan is the second largest pharma market, after the US, but uptake of generics in Japan has been comparatively slow. Teva is aiming to reach sales of $1 billion in Japan by 2015. 

PHARMACEUTICAL: Indian R&D gets big pharma backing

French drugmaker Sanofi has struck a licensing deal with Indian drug development company Glenmark for GBR500, a monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Chron’s disease and other autoimmune disorders, such as multiple schlerosis.

Glenmark will recieve $50 million upfront and become eligible for milestone payments worth up to $613 million.

Its clear investment in R&D makes Glenmark something of an oddity among its drug industry peers in India, a country in which generic manufacturing predominates. 

CHEMICAL: DuPont secures Danisco deal

Chemical giant DuPont has won through with its recently raised offer for Danish food ingredients and enzymes company Danisco. The company says 92 per cent of Danisco shares were tendered before the 13 May deadline. In January, DuPont agreed to pay $5.8 billion and assume $500 million of Danisco net debt, an offer that was accepted by the Danisco board. But the deal has since faced opposition from Danisco shareholders, who said the price was too low.

Earlier this month, DuPont said it would buy shares at DKK700 (£83), representing a price increase of 5.3 per cent. Ellen Kullman, DuPont chief executive, said the new terms were the ‘final and best offer’ to be made. 

PHARMACEUTICAL: Are drugmakers prioritising women?

According to a new industry report, the pharma industry has made significant progress in the area of diseases associated with women. The authors from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America say that across the pharma industry there are 851 drugs in development for the treatment of diseases that only or disproportionally affect women. This includes 139 drugs for the treatment of types of cancer that only affect women and 110 drugs for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, which affect women up to three times more often than men. The authors highlight how men and women react differently to certain diseases. Improved understanding in the area has contributed to the change.

Is this a significant number? It’s hard to say without some context. Digging into the report, I found a figure of 3000 for drugs currently in development, but no figure for drugs for the treatment of diseases that only or disproportionally affect men.

AGRICHEMICAL: Syngenta seed treatment

Agrichemical major Syngenta has launched a new fungicide for the treatment of seeds before they are planted. It’s called Vibrance, and it’s based on a chemical called sedaxane – or N-{2-[1,1'-bi(cyclopropyl)-2-yl]phenyl}-3-(difluoromethyl)-1-methyl-1H-pyrazole-4-carboxamide.

It looks like Vibrance is the first commercial product to contain sedaxane. For the curious (or foolhardy) here is what my slog through the patent archives revealed: a Syngenta patent covering, among a lot of other things, synthesis of sedaxane and its use as a crop protection agent.

Vibrance will be available in Argentina for the current growing season. Syngenta says it will register it elsewhere over the next two years.

Andrew Turley

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