MILAN, 4 Oct (APM) - Advent International has agreed to buy active pharmaceutical ingredient producer (API) Industria Chimica Emiliana (ICE), Il Messaggero reported on Tuesday.
The family-owned company has sites in Italy, South America, India and North America and is recognised by pharma around the world for the high quality of its products, the paper said. It is a global leader in the production of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), an API which is mainly used to treat gastroenterological and chronic diseases.
Francesco Casiraghi, a managing director at Advent International, described ICE as a key player in an attractive market and a trusted partner of pharmaceutical companies and suppliers. "We see significant growth opportunities for this business," he said.
The Bartoli family, which founded the firm in 1949, has decided to sell the business to the private equity group, although it will continue to have a role, Il Messaggero reported.
Chairman Maurizio Bartoli said that production of the first bile acids provided the basis for the company's growth. Advent International highlighted the UDCA market as an attractive and growing one. Obesity, lifestyle changes and an ageing population are all contributing to increased demand for treatments for gastroenterological conditions.
Investments will be focused on raw materials sourcing and the development of next generation production facilities as well as expanding capacity ay ICE's sites.
Scientific society chiefs warn HCV drugs are not therapeutically equivalent
The heads of two scientific societies have warned against classifying drugs used to treat hepatitis C infection as therapeutically equivalent, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Thursday.
Medicines agency AIFA is due to issue an opinion on the subject after being invited to assess therapies on the market in Italy.
Massimo Galli, head of the infectious and tropical diseases society SIMIT and Salvatore Petta, his counterpart at the Italian liver diseases association AISF, identified significant differences between the treatments available.
The active ingredients belong to different therapeutic classes, do not share the same safety profiles in some patient subpopulations and are administered in different therapeutic schedules according to the genotype.
Until now physicians have been able to take advantage of a selection of treatment options so that the different drugs have achieved a 95% cure rate.
"The application in this clinical context of the principle of equivalence, if approved by AIFA, could undermine the excellent results achieved so far with potential negative effects both on the clinical and economic aspects of the drugs," Galli and Petta said.
The heads of the scientific societies also warned about the funding arrangements for HCV drugs. All direct-acting antivirals have been recognised as innovative and, until now, have been paid for through €500 million of special annual funding.
According to Galli and Petta, from the spring next year, regions will have to start paying for them through normal reimbursement budgets. They warned that this passage from one type of funding to another will need to be handled carefully if it is not to lead to delays or restrictions for treatments.
Agreement reached to transfer €1.6 billion pharma payback to regions
An agreement has been reached which will see €1.6 billion of pharma payback divided up among the regions, Quotidano Sanità reported on Thursday.
It follows a settlement in January when industry association Farmindustria and regional governments approved a deal for €2.4 billion owed to cover overspending of the hospital drugs budget between 2013-2017 (APMHE 61523
). Around €800 million has already been transferred to the regions.
Now the finance ministry has drafted a decree law which specifies the remaining amounts owed to each region, Quotidiano Sanità reported. Tuscany will receive the biggest payment of more than €189 million, Puglia will get almost €188 million and Campania around €170 million.
Janssen Italy hires former Microsoft executive as communications director
Janssen Italy has hired a former Microsoft executive as its new communications and public affairs director, Libero reported on Tuesday.
Chiara Ronchetti will report to Janssen's EMEA head of communications and public affairs Angelika Elser as well as the CEO of the Italian subsidiary, Massimo Scaccabarozzi.
She will focus on growing Janssen's brand reputation in line with the group's European strategy which is to highlight the positive impact which has been made on serious diseases in oncology haematology, immunology, pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Rochetti started her career working in media relations and communications in listed Italian companies before joining Microsoft 11 years ago. She was responsible for corporate and business communications for the group in Italy before becoming philanthropies lead.
She is joining a group with a significant presence in Italy, the paper said. Janssen has more than 1,200 employees in the country and a production site at Latina which manufactures highly specialised and innovative therapies for world markets.