Britain's FDS Pharma LLP has acquired the Rehovot hepatitis vaccine manufacturing plant of SciGen Israel Ltd. for $2 million plus 5% royalties on sales. SciGen originally acquired the plant from Biotechnology General (BTG) Ltd.
FDS Pharma is a little-known company based in Surrey. It owns patents to vaccines and produces active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for the Russian and other markets, and is run by Russian executives. FDS CEO Dr. Dmitry Genkin is the chairman of Russia's Pharmasyntez JSC, a generics and API manufacturer with hundreds of millions of dollars in domestic sales.
Singapore's SciGen Ltd. (ASX: SIE) set up the SciGen Israel plant for $10 million. Due to financial difficulties by SciGen's parent Polish company, Bioton SA (WSE: BIO), SciGen sold SciGen Israel and its vaccine production and marketing rights. SciGen Israel only sells in Israel, where its annual turnover is $150,000. Although it has marketing rights in other countries, it does not operate in any of them.
The fire sale of SciGen Israel is not necessarily bad news for the company. BTG's Kiryat Malakhi plant was sold Ferring Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and became the company's main biotech plant. Although Merck KGaA. (DAX: MRK) and Serono closed down Interpharm, Serono still operates an R&D center, Interlab and recently set up an incubator to invest in Israeli projects.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 4, 2011
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