MILAN, Dec 8 (APM) - Menarini is expecting markets in the Far East, especially China, to drive its growth, the company’s CEO told Il Secolo XIX in an interview published on Friday.
Pietro Giovanni Corsa forecast that the group as a whole will have sales of 3.6 billion euros in 2017. That will be a small increase over 2016, despite the fact that an unidentified drug worth 130 million euros of sales went off-patent this year.
Corsa said Menarini’s recent growth was accelerated by the decision to expand in the Asia-Pacific area, 60% of whose sales come from China. Menarini’s Singapore-based regional manager, Luca Lastrucci, told the paper that the group is looking to increase sales in the area to more than 1 billion euros. He also noted that an investment of 15 million euros has been made in developing R&D facilities there.
The Italian market is becoming less important and its share of sales is expected to fall below 20% within 5 years. However, the group has no intention of relocating elsewhere, stressing that it pays 70-80 million euros of taxes a year in Italy, where it is still the largest homegrown pharma.
Corsa said acquisitions are also part of the strategy, emphasising that Menarini’s expansion will continue to be financed through cash flow. “We are not interested in raising liquidity from the markets,” he told the paper.
Italy allows access to public health data as long as it's anonymous
Italy is allowing industry to have access to public health data as long it remains anonymous, to bring the country into line with European legislation, La Repubblica reported on Wednesday.
From 12 December, all health data collected by local health enterprises and regional health bodies can be transferred to multinationals which ask to use them for scientific research on condition that they are rendered anonymous. The paper suggested this is a good development because it could significantly shorten research times. On the other hand, it wondered whether identities can really be completely erased from the records.
La Repubblica said the change has cleared the way for a partnership between the government and IBM, which has established a new Watson Health centre in Milan specifically for the purpose. IBM was quoted as describing the data as “magnificent technology”, which will be of enormous benefit to doctors and patients.
EMA transfer to Milan would have been faster
Had Milan won the bidding to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) the transfer would have been faster, smoother and cheaper, according to Saturday’s Il Sole 24 Ore.
The Pirelli Tower would have been immediately available so that work on creating the right infrastructure for the regulator could have been completed rapidly. Milan's city council and the Italian government had agreed to provide the skyscraper rent-free, at least for the first few years.
In Amsterdam, on the other hand, it is not even clear where the EMA will go in the early stages as its permanent home will not be ready until 2019, according to Il Sole 24 Ore. What’s more, the regulator will be charged a rent for the use of its permanent home, it noted.
Pharmacy group CVS to buy insurer Aetna
Pharmacy group CVS’s acquisition of insurance company Aetna will create a giant which will bring distribution and medical cover under the same roof, according to Tuesday’s Il Sole 24 Ore.
The aim of the deal is to create an integrated network which finances and delivers a range of medical services and prescription drugs. CVS is a leader in drugs distribution while Aetna is the third largest health insurance group in the U.S., the paper said.
The deal is also designed to anticipate the probable entry of Amazon into the pharmacy market, a move which would increase competition for everyone, it added.
If the plan works, it could transform pharmacies into mini-hospitals and generate savings of 750 million euros a year for clients, Il Sole 24 Ore predicted.
Chinese pharma snaps up two Italian companies
China’s Xianju Pharma has bought two Italian firms, Newchem and Effechem, as it seeks to expand internationally, MF reported on Thursday.
The combined cost of the acquisitions is around 100 million euros, the Chinese company said in an official statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange. According to the paper it is one of China’s biggest pharma groups, whose main products are corticosteroids, hormonal treatments, anaesthetics and muscle relaxants.
Newchem’s main business is supplying raw materials for hormonal drugs and corticosteroids. No information was given about Effechem.