Press review

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Bayer's shares hit by disappointing quarterly results

BERLIN, 7 Sep (APM) - Bayer was one of the biggest daily losers in Germany's DAX index on Thursday, with shares down 4.57%, reports Handelsblatt on Friday (p36).
The stock had already lost about 1.7% on Wednesday after the presentation of second quarter results considered as disappointing by investors, the paper adds (APMHE 59585).
The group's profit - which includes the newly acquired Monsanto business for the first time - grew by 4% to €2.34 billion in Q2. However, without Monsanto Bayer would hardly have increased its adjusted operating profit, Handelsblatt wrote on Thursday (p15).
One reason for uncertainty among investors is the legal problems Bayer is facing related to Monsanto's flagship product weed killer glyphosate, Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) (p17) and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (p22) wrote on Thursday More than 8,700 lawsuits have been filed in the U.S..
In addition, Irish pharma company Shire has filed a lawsuit against Bayer for patent infringement of blood clotting drug Jivi (damoctocog alfa pegol), Die Welt said on Tuesday (p 10) (APMHE 59545).
Die Welt also reported on Wednesday (p 9) that Hartmut Klusik, Bayer's head of human resources, technology and sustainability at the pharma division, will be awarded a contract extension.
An extension of Klusik's contract had been in doubt because production issues following FDA inspection are under his responsibility (APMHE 59573).

New Stada CEO aims to strengthen group's market position

Peter Goldschmidt, who took up his position as Stada's CEO last week, aims to strengthen the market position of the generic drugmaker in the long term, wrote Handelsblatt on Tuesday (p47).
As "a strong team player" with many years of experience in the generic industry at Novartis, he is "the right man to be in charge".
Goldschmidt is the fourth CEO to join Stada in just over two years, but his predecessor Claudio Albrecht, appointed at a turbulent time for the company in September 2017, has already completed a large-scale restructuring thanks to Albrecht's preparatory work.

Ex-Meda CEO appointed at generic drugmaker NuPharma

Joerg-Thomas Dierks, former CEO of Meda until its acquisition by Mylan, has been appointed CEO of generic drugmaker NuPharma, Handelsblatt reported on Thursday (p46).
Dierks takes over NuPharm from Stephan Walz, who is leaving the company. NuPharm was founded in 2016 by the merging of six European generic drugmakers specialised in central nervous system products.

German pharma companies ready for hard Brexit

The German pharmaceutical industry is already assuming that Brexit will be tough, reported Handelsblatt on Thursday (p4-5).
"'No deal' is the primary scenario in our planning and we are preparing for it," Bayer told Handelsblatt.
Other pharmas are making similar assessments, the paper said.
Companies are preparing for possible interruptions in their supply chains.

Pharma trade union plans wages protest

Pharma and chemical industry union IG BCE is planning protests in several companies to put pressure on the Federal Employers' Association of the Chemical Industry (BAVC) in negotiations over the next wages increase, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) (p20) reported on Thursday.
IG BCE expressed disappointment that BAVC did not make new proposals at the opening of a new round of negotiations on Wednesday, FAZ said.
IG BCE is asking for a 7% increase in monthly wages and holiday pay plus as another part of the package a choice between more money and more holidays, said Handelsblatt on Wednesday (p7-8) and Die Welt on Thursday (p10).
In an interview with Handelsblatt, BAVC negotiator Bayer Germany's Georg Mueller said he was open to discussions "as long as employers can act flexibly and the overall volume of work does not fall".

Tense talks on redundancies at Merck KGaA

Talks are tense between Merck KGaA management and works council and trade union IG BCE about 135 jobs in accounting and finance which are to be moved from the company's headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany to Poland and the Philippines, reported FAZ on Thursday (p37).
Since no agreement has been found, an arbitration body may have to settle the case on 14 September, the paper said. Both parties have been negotiating since August 2017 (APMHE 54226).
The works council wants to see the affected employees transferred to other positions in the group.

Evotec shares up 68% in 2018

Evotec shares have grown by 68% since the beginning of 2018, one of the biggest increases in the specialised Tech DAX index, reported Handelsblatt on Wednesday (p30).
Those who join pay the biotechnology company with 97 times the annual profit, the paper said.

New CEO for Gerresheimer

German pharma packaging specialist Gerresheimer has appointed Dietmar Siemssen as its new CEO as of November, report FAZ (p19) and Handelsblatt (p62) on Friday.
Gerresheimer has been directed since February by chief finance officer Rainer Beaujean, after CEO Christian Fischer resigned after only five months for personal reasons.

Pharma lobby warns against parallel imports

Birgit Fischer, managing director of the German pharma lobby, warned that drug parallel trade can endanger the safety of medicinal products, reports Wirtschaftswoche on Friday (p22) (APMHE 59487).
Trade routes are so complex that imported drugs are hardly controllable, she said. Vfa reacted to illegal imports made by German importer Lunapharm.
According to new findings reported in Die Welt on Thursday (p 6), Lunapharm bought more stolen drugs from a rising number of companies in Greece, Cyprus and Italy.

Cancer expert calls for prohibition of reimports and parallel imports

In an interview with the Welt on Sunday (p 35), cancer expert and head of the drug commission of German medical association (AKdÄ) Wolf-Dieter Ludwig calls for prohibition of reimports and parallel imports of costly cancer drugs. Vast profit margins give criminal networks incentives to smuggle drugs, Ludwig said.
Ludwig also addressed potentially cancer-causing impurities in valsartan-containing drugs, criticising European and U.S. agencies for unsettling patients. Numbers on the potential cancer risks are based on animal testing and not applicable to humans, he added.
Ludwig said foreign manufacturers should be under stricter surveillance by the existing regional drug regulation authorities.

New European ruling in favour of generic drugmakers

A recent European court of Justice (ECJ) ruling has strengthened generic drugmakers' rights, lawyer Christian Harmsen wrote in Handelsblatt on Tuesday (p11).
The C 121/17 ruling said that a supplementary protection certificate on a combination of active substances is valid only if each active ingredient is identifiable in the related patents.
In this case, the expired patent explicitly named only one of the two ingredients.

Novartis sells parts of U.S. generics business

Novartis is selling a portfolio of 300 U.S. drugs from its generics division Sandoz to Indian competitor Aurobindo for about $1 billion, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports on Friday (p20) (APMHE 59576).
The sale is in line with Novartis' strategy to concentrate on research-intensive and high-margin original drugs and biosimilar areas in the U.S., FAZ adds.
The newspaper names U.S. president Donald Trump's interventions on drug prices as one reason for price drops of about 10 % on the generics market over the past few years, making this market less interesting to Novartis.

Teva restructuring

Teva is undergoing serious restructuring after its expansion strategy led to a $35 billion debt, Handelsblatt said on Tuesday (p18-19).
The main reason for the collapse was the $40.5 billion acquisition of Allergan's generic business Actavis in 2016.
New CEO Kåre Schultz, appointed in September 2017, is in charge of "the toughest restructuring case in the industry". Q2 figures (APMHE 59176) showed that Teva business has now "stabilised at a low level", Handelsblatt said.

Setback for Roche's Tecentriq

The U.S. approval process for a combination therapy including Roche's Tecentriq (atezolizumab) to treat a form of lung cancer is taking longer than expected, reports FAZ on Friday (p19) (APMHE 59580).
The FDA needs three months more time to review additional information requested.
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