Ranbaxy to Shed as Many as 400 Middle and Senior Management Jobs

Posted in BioBusiness

The UK’s Economic Times reported  today that the troubled Indian generic drug manufacturer Ranbaxy may shed as many as 400 jobs from its various divisions. Most of the persons receiving pink slips will be senior and middle management who are likely losing their jobs because of ongoing serious drug manufacturing problems that have plagued the company for over three years.  The drug maker employs about 14, 600 people in 43 countries.

While the job cuts do not represent a significant percentage of Ranbaxy’s workforce, Daiichi Sankyo which owns the company, is likely eliminating members of the management team that have been responsible for the company’s ongoing manufacturing problems. According to the Economic Times article

“On Thursday, some senior executives from the finance department at Ranbaxy were asked to leave. On Friday, some senior executives from the Research & Development wing were given marching orders,” an employee familiar with the job cuts told ET. Another executive said some officials from the API(active pharma ingredient) division have also been handed pink slips.

This past May, Ranbaxy paid the US Department of Justice $500 million to settle criminal and civil charges to resolve the manufacturing problems that prompted the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the sale of dozens of drugs manufactured by the company.  More recently, FDA inspectors issued an unsatisfactory inspection report for one of the company’s manufacturing plants in India.

Ranbaxy is one of the world’s leading generic drug manufactures and the company’s ongoing manufacturing problems have certainly hurt Daiichi Sankyo’s image. Also, it has led some analyst to question whether or not Daiichi Sankyo ought to have purchased the troubled generic manufacturer for $4.6 billion in 2008.

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Continues Its Westward Expansion

Posted in BioBusiness

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, yesterday announced its intention to purchase the Swiss drug maker Nycomed for 8 to 10 billion euros ($11.4-14 billion). While the deal is not certain to close, it signals Takeda’s intention to purchase its way into the US and European markets.

Takeda acquired Cambridge, MA-based Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 2008 for $8.8 billion, the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Japanese company. The Millennium acquisition was intended to bolster Takeda’s competencies in genomics and oncology drug discovery. If Takeda is successful in its bid, Nycomed would enhance the company’s standing in treatments for gastric, respiratory and inflammatory disorders. Nycomed has operations in roughly 70 countries, with Europe representing 50 percent of the company’s sale and emerging markets 38 percent.

Takeda’s chief executive officer Yasuchika Hasegawa has pursued an aggressive M&A strategy since assuming control of the company in 2003. Historically, Japanese drugmakers intentionally remained small and were content doing business in local and other Asian markets. However, Hasegawa has changed the “game” and has forced some of Takeda’s rivals to emulate his global strategy. To that end, in recent years Daiichi Sankyo Company has purchased Plexxikon and Ranbaxy and Astellas acquired OSI pharmaceuticals as part of a westward expansion.

While Takeda remains Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, net profit slumped 17 percent last year and the company is losing patent protection for its largest selling drugs, Prevacid (ulcers) and Actos (diabetes). Like Takeda, Nycomed sales are being hit by the loss of patent protection for its largest selling drug Protonix (antacid). Worldwide sales of the drug plummeted by almost 28 percent. Therefore, it would appear that Takeda’s pursuit of Nycomed is based more on its pipeline rather than currently marketed products.

Stay tuned for late-breaking news on the deal!

Until next time,

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!


Pfizer and Ranbaxy Settle Lipitor Patent Dispute

Posted in Career Advice

As many of you may know, Ranbaxy was involved in a bitter patent dispute with Pfizer over Lipitor, Pfizer’s blockbuster multibillion, dollar anti LDL-cholesterol drug. Ranbaxy was challenging the validity of Pfizer’s intellectual property estate for Lipitor which would have extended patent protection for the drug until 2013 or longer. The patent dispute began after Ranbaxy filled an ANDA with the US Food and Drug Administration to sell generic Lipitor after uncontested Lipitor patents expire in early 2010.

Conventional wisdom suggested that Pfizer would ultimately lose the patent dispute and that Ranbaxy would be able to immediately flood the market with a much cheaper generic version of Lipitor. This would have an enormous negative impact on Pfizer’s financial stability and its future (Lipitor had $12.8 billion in sales in 2007). Nevertheless, untilDaiicho-Sankyo announced its intention to acquire Ranbaxy last week, Pfizer was willing to gamble and run the risk of losing the lawsuit. Apparently, Ranbaxy impending sale was enough of an impetus for Pfizer to settle the patent dispute which has grown increasingly acrimonious over the past year or so.

According to agreement (which needs to be approved by the US Federal Trade Commission), Pfizer was able to get Ranbaxy  to agree to delay the release of generic Lipitor until November 2011 — up to 20 months later than many analysts had been expecting (some insiders believed that generic Lipitor could reach the market as early as March 2010). Further, as part of the agreement, Pfizer will allow Ranbaxy to sell its version of Lipitor in Australia, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden two to four months before Liptor’s patents expire. This is likely the sweet part of the deal for Ranbaxy because all of the above mentioned markets are top sellers for anti-cholesterol drugs. Finally, because Ranbaxy was the first to file an ANDA for generic Lipitor with the FDA, it will get 6 months of market exclusivity guaranteed (in the Hatch Waxman Act) to a generic manufacturer that is first to file for generic production of a brand name drug nearing patent expiry.   However, after quickly perusing the terms of the deal, I think that it more closely resembles an authorized generics deal rather than a “true” competitive generics launch.

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Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co Buy's Generic Manufacturer Ranbaxy

Posted in BioJobBuzz

Daiichi Sankyo will buy a controlling interest (50.1%) of Ranbaxy, India’s third largest generic manufacturer.  Daiichi will pay as much as $4.6 billion for the opportunity.

The deal will put Daiichi Sankyo into ninth place in the $120 billion generic-drug market behind leaders Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Novartis AG’s Sandoz unit. According to the report “Daiichi Sankyo is mimicking strategies pursued by Novartis and Johnson & Johnson to weather turbulence in the branded-drug industry by diversifying into other markets. The acquisition also gives the Japanese company more reach in emerging regions including India, China and Eastern Europe. “

I think after this deal, that other pharmaceutical companies may consider buying profitable generics businesses. I am not sure why it has taken innovator companies so long to realize that it is much easier to join (buy??) rather than compete with generic manufacturers. It just seems so obvious to me—and I don’t even have an MBA!  Maybe there is some truth to the age-old aphorism “missing the forest for the trees.”

Until next time…

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!