FLORENCE, 28 Aug (APM) - Menarini's financial performance in 2019 was one of the main reasons for it being able to afford the acquisition of U.S. biotech Stemline Therapeutics, financial daily Italia Oggi suggested on Saturday.
The Italian company is controlled by the Aleotti family through the holding company Pharmafin, whose 2019 financial results were revealed by the paper. Profits rose to €241 million from €175.6 million a year earlier, sales were up €200 million to €3.8 billion and the EBITDA came in at €492 million compared to €457 million previously.
Pharmafin's financial position was described as very solid with a net financial position of €1.5 billion compared to €1.4 billion previously. Menarini announced in May it has agreed to buy U.S. biotech Stemline Therapeutics in a deal worth up to $677 million (APMHE 67206
Menarini's net sales outside Italy rose almost 5% in 2019 to €2.9 billion. In Italy, turnover fell from €802 million to €796 million, although the group remained first in pharmacy sales with a market share of 8%. Globally 94% of revenues come from pharmaceuticals and 5% from diagnostic products.
The largest therapeutic area was cardiovascular products (over €1.1 billion), followed by metabolism (€541 million), respiratory disease (€330 million), anti-rheumatics and analgesics (€357.2 million), gastroenterology (€142.1 million) and anti-allergy and antibacterial agents each with sales of over €110 million.
"All this explains why the Aleotti family can afford $677 million to take over the aforementioned U.S. company focused on oncology drugs and whose new flagship product is Elzonris," the paper said.
Testing of Italian Covid-19 vaccine will move to Latin America after Phase I
Testing of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Rome-based biotech ReiThera will move to Latin America after Phase I has been completed, according to Tuesday's Il Sole 24 Ore.
The first dose was administered to a volunteer at Rome's Lazzaro Spallanzani infectious diseases institute on Monday (APMHE 68652
). Two more volunteers were injected on Wednesday and the rest of the 95 planned Phase I inoculations will be done over 24 weeks, Francesco Vaia, health director at the Spallanzani hospital, told the paper.
"After that, if everything goes well and according to programme, there will be the Phase II and Phase III which will take place in a country with a higher number of infections," he said.
Vaia stressed it will not be Italy which currently does not have as many infections and patients as other countries. He said: "We will go to countries in Latin America where the virus is still growing."
China dominant in pharma production
China has become the dominant drugs manufacturer in the world and the EU is dependent on the county to keep its pharmacy shelves stocked, La Stampa said in an in-depth analysis published on Monday.
The speed with which China has grown to become the world's largest producer of pharmaceutical ingredients has been "supersonic" the paper said.
It now accounts for 60% of global production of starting and intermediate materials which are essential to make active ingredients. The EU buys almost 60% of these materials are from China and India, the paper said. They are used for branded drugs, over-the-counter generics, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs and even complex ones used in cardiology and oncology.
La Stampa noted that the Covid-19 emergency was behind recent supply shortages. But it said this was only the latest sign of the problem of having a disproportionate amount of production done outside the European Union.
Enrique Häusermann, president of the Italian generics manufacturers' association Assogenerici, stressed that solutions need to be found. He said: "It was with the coronavirus emergency that Europe found itself too dependent, especially at critical moments, on non-European countries. With the EU we are looking for a strategy to resolve this."
Pharma only manufacturing sector to see growth in June
Pharma was the only manufacturing sector to see growth in June, Italia Oggi reported on Thursday.
Pharma recorded 7% growth in manufacturing compared to a 1% decline for the food industry, a 33% slide in the transport sector and 41% for oil refineries.
Italy's industrial orders jumped 23% in June although on average they fell 23% in the second quarter as a whole. Again it was pharma leading the way with an 11% rise in orders, followed by transport with 6%.
Orders for computers and electronics fell by 17% while those for textiles, clothing and leather accessories slumped 38%.
Covid-19 infections rise as testing stepped up
Covid-19 infections rose significantly on Thursday as testing and screening are stepped up, Il Sole 24 Ore reports on Friday.
There were 1,411 new cases recorded, a number which has not been seen since early May. However, it was partly as a result of record number of tests, with just over 94,000 carried out in one day.