Novozymes to divest Novozymes Biopharma Sweden

Novozymes has decided to divest Novozymes Biopharma Sweden, located in Lund, Sweden, to American-owned Repligen Corp.

Novozymes, the world leader in bioinnovation, has today accepted an offer to divest Novozymes Biopharma Sweden to American-owned Repligen Corp. The divestment allows for an even sharper focus on the increasing potential within many of BioBusiness’ key focus areas, including hyaluronic acid and rAlbumin products and technologies for pharmaceutical and medical device applications.
Earlier this year Novozymes announced that the company has been looking for a potential spin off or divestment of its AMP (antimicrobial peptide) projects such as Plectasin and Arenicin.
The decision to discontinue the AMP projects has called for a review of the purpose of Novozymes Biopharma Sweden operations, which from the outset was mainly intended as a launch plant for drug discovery projects, including AMPs, but also for the production and development of Novozymes’ cell culture ingredient and Protein A products,” says Dr. Thomas Videbæk, Executive Vice President of Novozymes.
He continues: “In Novozymes, we have evaluated the options for ensuring the best possible development of the ongoing activities at our Biopharma Sweden operations, and Repligen has presented itself as a strong buyer with the strategic focus to strengthen their activities within the cell culture ingredient and affinity ligands business.”
As a consequence, Novozymes and Repligen Corp. have signed an agreement, whereby Repligen Corp. acquires Novozymes’ Biopharma Sweden activities. The agreement was signed October 27th, and the transaction is expected to be finalized during the fourth quarter of 2011.
The transaction comprises Novozymes Biopharma Sweden, including the transfer of related tangible and intangible assets, specified liabilities, and employees. Novozymes Biopharma Sweden’s activites include cellculture ingredients (such as LongR3-IGF1 and rTransferrin) and affinity ligands (such as Protein A).
Based in Massachusetts, Repligen Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company listed on NASDAQ with an annual turnover of roughly 30 million USD.
The deal is a cash transaction of roughly DKK 125 million (17 million Euros) with contingent milestone payments of roughly DKK 30 million (4 million Euros), payable in 2012-2015. It is not expected to impact Novozymes’ full year 2011 expectations. The divested annual sales amount is expected at roughly DKK 90 million, with a slightly positive EBITDA contribution, and a somewhat negative EBIT contribution.
Strong signs within BioBusiness
Thomas Videbæk states that Novozymes ambition for BioBusiness of sales of DKK 6 billion in 2018 is still valid following the divestment. He says: “Our other areas within Biopharma for the medical device and drug delivery & formulation markets are developing very positively. These are areas within Novozymes that will remain in high focus. In September, Novozymes opened its new Hyaluronic Acid facility in China, and we also signed an exclusive supply agreement with ConjuChem on recombinant human albumin, Recombumin®.”
At the same time, Novozymes is finding solutions for the AMP projects: Arenicin has successfully been spun out to Adenium Biotech (Novo Seeds, Novo A/S); Human Defensins are currently being evaluated under an option agreement; and Plectasin is being kept in-house as a candidate for exploratory activities within AMPs for industrial use.
I am sad to say goodbye to so many talented and dedicated people, and I would like to thank each and every one for the job they have done in Novozymes. I also believe that this is the optimal solution for both Novozymes and the employees, who will play an important role in their new home. Repligen will be a strong owner with a dedicated focus on the business,” Thomas Videbæk concludes.
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