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Centrient Pharmaceuticals to acquire Astral SteriTech, expanding its product portfolio with sterile injectable antibiotic finished dosage forms

Rotterdam, the Netherlands, February 15th, 2021, Feb. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

  • Further strengthens Centrient Pharmaceuticals’ position as the global business-to-business industry leader in beta-lactam antibiotics
  • Broadens Centrient Pharmaceuticals’ product portfolio with sterile injectable Semi-Synthetic Cephalosporin and Semi-Synthetic Penicillin finished dosage forms, able to further meet the needs of customers in these segments and become a preferred partner for customers
  • Brings in-house manufacturing capabilities for high-quality sterile antibiotic powder injectable finished dosage forms with two US FDA-approved production lines

Centrient Pharmaceuticals (“Centrient”), the business-to-business leader in sustainable, enzymatic antibiotics, next-generation statins and anti-fungals, today announced the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of Astral SteriTech Private Limited (“Astral SteriTech”), a leading international manufacturer specialised in sterile antibiotic injectable finished dosage forms. With the acquisition of Astral SteriTech, Centrient strengthens its position as the global business-to-business industry leader in beta-lactam antibiotics.

The acquisition of Astral SteriTech is an important step on Centrient’s journey to become the leading, diversified and fully integrated partner to generics marketers.

The products offered by Astral SteriTech are sterile injectable finished dosage forms for Semi-Synthetic Cephalosporins and Semi-Synthetic Penicillins. Being close to Centrient’s core products of beta-lactam antibiotics, the acquired product portfolio provides Centrient a diversification opportunity within the attractive growing niche segment of sterile injectable antibiotics.

With the broadened product portfolio, Centrient can further meet the needs of its customers in Semi-Synthetic Cephalosporin and Semi-Synthetic Penicillin finished dosage forms and become the preferred partner in these segments.

Astral SteriTech has a US FDA-approved manufacturing site with two manufacturing lines and serves customers in highly regulated markets like the United States and other regions such as South Asia.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Rex Clements, CEO at Centrient said: The acquisition of Astral SteriTech is a significant step forward on the journey we at Centrient have undertaken to become the preferred commercial partner to our customers in Semi-Synthetic Cephalosporin and Semi-Synthetic Penicillin antibiotics.

By broadening of our product portfolio and adding advanced manufacturing capabilities, we will strengthen the delivery of our value proposition of Quality, Reliability and Sustainability.

These finished dosage forms are critical medicines in healthcare but face increasing risks of supply shortage. At Centrient, we are committed to ensuring a sustainable supply of these products in healthcare, in line with our purpose to improve lives by being at the centre of sustainable and accessible healthcare.”

Dr. Dushyant Patel, Chairman and Managing Director at Astral SteriTech said: “We are proud that with Astral SteriTech’s core competencies and proven strong track record in sterile injectable Semi-Synthetic Cephalosporin and Semi-Synthetic Penicillin finished dosage forms, we can contribute to synergize and consolidate Centrient’s antibiotics product portfolio, to support their geographical expansion agenda.

Centrient’s vision and strategies for global success blended with Astral SteriTech’s strong fundamentals in the niche area will not only enhance quality of service to existing clients but will help expand the business horizon.”

For the transaction, Barclays acted as the exclusive financial advisor, and Sidley Austin LLP and Trilegal as legal advisors to Centrient Pharmaceuticals. J.P. Morgan acted as the exclusive financial advisor and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co as legal advisor to Astral SteriTech.

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About Astral SteriTech Private Limited

Astral SteriTech is a leading international contract manufacturer specialized in sterile antibiotic powder injectable finished dosage forms.

Established as Astral Pharmaceutical Industries in 1991 by Dr. Dushyant Patel, current Chairman and Managing Director, and renamed into Astral SteriTech Private Limited in 2012, the company carved its niche as a preferred Contract and Development Manufacturing Organisation in the industry segment of sterile antibiotic injectable formulations. The company has a US FDA-approved manufacturing site with two dedicated manufacturing lines, located in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, and serves customers in high regulated markets like the United States and other regions such as South Asia.

The company’s core competencies include advanced aseptic fill and finish technologies and processes, the highest quality standards supported by its robust Quality System, regulatory services along all product development stages, and extensive product development knowledge.

For more information on Astral SteriTech please visit www.astralsteritech.com.

About Centrient Pharmaceuticals

Centrient Pharmaceuticals is the global leader in the production and commercialisation of sustainable antibiotics, next-generation statins and anti-fungals. We produce and sell intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished dosage forms.

We stand proudly at the centre of modern healthcare, as a maker of essential and life-saving medicines. With our commitment to Quality, Reliability and Sustainability at the heart of everything we do, our over 2200 employees work continuously to meet our customers’ needs. We work towards a sustainable future by actively participating in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Founded 150 years ago as the ‘Nederlandsche Gist- en Spiritusfabriek’, our company was known as Gist Brocades and more recently DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals. Headquartered in Rotterdam (Netherlands), we have production facilities and sales offices in China, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Egypt, the United States and Mexico. Centrient Pharmaceuticals is wholly owned by Bain Capital Private Equity, a leading global private investment firm.

For more information please visit www.centrient.com or contact Centrient Pharmaceuticals Corporate Communications, Alice Beijersbergen, Director Branding & Communications. E-Mail: alice.beijersbergen@centrient.com.
Forward-looking statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to Centrient Pharmaceuticals’ future financial

performance and position. Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections of Centrient and information currently available to the company. Centrient cautions readers that such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and therefore it should be understood that many factors can cause actual performance and position to differ materially from these statements. Centrient has no obligation to update the statements contained in this press release, unless required by law. The English language version of the press release is governing.

Alice Beijersbergen
Centrient Pharmaceuticals
+31 (6) 823 579 56
alice.beijersbergen@centrient.com

 

Bernama can assist artistes impacted by COVID-19 – Ras Adiba

— Media organisations, such as the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), can play a role in helping artistes impacted by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the veterans, said Bernama chairman Datuk Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi.

She said that the story of artistes who suffered loss of income or from health problems should be given due attention as a sign of appreciation for their contribution to the country.

“We talk about them because they bring their own story in the art scene and this is the time we can hear their story, how it was then and how it is now, to inspire people.

“At this time, even though they are in such a difficult situation, we can learn from them how they have been involved in the art scene and become talented Malaysians and contribute to the country’s history,” she said after watching veteran singer Datuk DJ Dave entertaining orphans virtually in conjunction with his birthday, here today.

DJ Dave, who is also the chairman of Yayasan Kebajikan Artis Tanah Air (YKAT), said that the foundation was also working to help veteran artistes affected by the pandemic.

“Indeed, many artistes are having a tough time right now. I used to have two or three shows a month, but now there are none,” he said.

On his 73rd birthday, DJ Dave said that this time he made a difference by celebrating it virtually to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the Movement Control Order (MCO), through live streaming with four selected orphanages.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Potential travel bubbles with other S.E.A countries after Malaysia-Indonesia RGL/TCA – Malaysia Airports

The imminent COVID-19 vaccination rollout and reciprocal green lane/travel corridor arrangement (RGL/TCA) between Malaysia and Indonesia are expected to facilitate the recovery of the national aviation industry in coming months.

Malaysia Airports group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh is also hopeful that airport frontliners will be in the first batch to receive the vaccine once the programme begins.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have been vigilant in ensuring the highest safety standards at the airport so that people can travel safely, thus the national vaccination programme will certainly help our efforts,” he said in a statement today.

He said having the RGL/TCA in place meant more travel bubbles could be implemented with other countries within Southeast Asia (SEA).

“Nearly 50 per cent of the international traffic is from the SEA region during pre-COVID-19,” he said.

According to Malaysia Airports, passenger traffic movements in January 2021 for Malaysia operations dropped by about 30 per cent compared to the preceding month, whereas it had increased by more than 240 per cent when comparing December against November 2020.

It said air traffic data for last month showed that border closures and re-imposition of domestic travel restrictions had adversely affected air traffic movements that had been showing initial signs of gradual recovery after the easing of travel restrictions in the second half of 2020.

However, it said, international passenger traffic increased by about 25 per cent from the preceding month, even with border closures and strict quarantine measures.

“Group traffic movements are still largely contributed by operations at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (IATA Code: SAW).

“Despite the implementation of curfews and flight suspensions from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Denmark, SAW still recorded 1.3 million passenger movements or about 60 per cent of the group’s total of two million in January 2021.”

Meanwhile, it added, cargo operations remained resilient, with Kuala Lumpur International Airport welcoming its latest cargo airline partner from Lithuania, Get Jet Airlines last week.

“The private charter airline has chosen KLIA as its main base for its Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur route and will look to connect to more destinations from SEA to Central Asia.”

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

EMCO in Tapah Prison, staff quarters from Feb 16 until March 1

The Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) will be enforced at the Tapah Prison and its staff quarters starting Tuesday (Feb 16) until March 1, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the EMCO would make it easier for the Health Ministry (MOH) to conduct targeted screening on all inmates, staff and their close contacts to curb the spread of the virus in the community.

“To date, the MOH has conducted 187 screening tests on close contacts, of which 55 COVID-19 positive cases have been recorded,” he said in a statement on the Movement Control Order (MCO) developments today.

He added that the existing standard operating procedures (SOP) for the EMCO would apply for the prison, with movement in and out of the prison and visits by family members not allowed.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the government has also agreed to extend the EMCO at the Sungai Udang Prison in Melaka starting Feb 17 until March 2, excluding its staff quarters, while the Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) at the prison would end its operation tomorrow as scheduled.

Ismail Sabri also announced that the EMCO at the Kampung Sungai Ud, Dalat, Sarawak; as well as Felcra Nasaruddin and Felda Bersia in Perak would end tomorrow.

He said the decision was made after a risk assessment was carried out with various agencies under the MCO Technical Committee.

On violations of the MCO SOP, he said 1,111 individuals were arrested yesterday, with 1,040 of them compounded while 71 others remanded.

Among the offences are inter-district and state travel without permission (306 cases), not maintaining physical distance (300) and failure to provide equipment to record customer details (107).

On Op Benteng, Ismail Sabri said a total of 22 illegal immigrants were detained yesterday and six land vehicles were also seized.

He said 5,402 foreign workers have undergone the screening tests yesterday and 11 of them turned out to be COVID-19 positive.

“Cumulatively, the Human Resource Ministry informed that

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

COVID Not Going Anywhere Soon

Scientists say the rapidly evolving coronavirus will be circulating among the world’s population for some time.

One thing, however, that scientists agree upon in the battle against the virus that has killed more than 2 million people is the importance of the COVID-19 vaccinations.

Dr. T. Jacob John, a leading Indian public health official, told the Associated Press that at some point the coronavirus will become yet “another animal in the zoo’’ that the world has learned to live with, like polio or smallpox.

Zimbabwe received its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday. The Sinopharm vaccines are a donation from China, but Zimbabwe’s government has also purchased an additional 600,000 doses, state media said, that are expected to arrive in the African nation next month, still far short of what it will need to inoculate its millions of residents.

Israel had made great strides in inoculating its population against the coronavirus, but now that progress is being dramatically slowed by what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says is “the fake news and the superstitious and sometimes malicious beliefs that are planted in the public and on the internet.”

Israel has increased its digital task force to counter the misinformation and the Associated Press says Israel has also deployed DJs and offered free food to lure residents to vaccination venues.

Researchers have found at least seven new COVID-19 variants in the United States. It is not immediately clear, however, if the U.S. variants are as highly contagious as the British and South African variants.

The average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has recently dropped below 100,000 for the first time in months. The U.S., however, remains at the top of the list as the location with the most COVID-19 cases.

There are more than 108 million global COVID-19 infections. The U.S. has more than 27 million, followed by India with 10.9 million and Brazil with 9.8 million, says Hopkins.

Mental health professionals are warning about a mental health crisis among young people brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Mental health experts say young people are experiencing loneliness and despair and some are contemplating suicide with all the upheavals the virus has brought to their young lives.

Source: Voice of America

WHO Grants Emergency Approval to 2 AstraZeneca Vaccines

The World Health Organization announced Monday it has approved two versions of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, a move that will boost global supplies in the coming weeks.

WHO said the vaccines are safe for those above 18 years old and will be distributed through the organization’s COVAX vaccine-sharing initiative targeting mid- and low-income countries.

The newly approved vaccines are produced by AstraZeneca-SKBio in South Korea and the Serum Institute of India. AstraZeneca’s vaccine makes up most of the doses in the COVAX initiative.

The approval also allows countries to speed up domestic regulatory approval to import and administer the vaccines. It took the global health body less than a month to assess data on the quality, safety and efficacy of the drugs and grant the emergency-use approval.

“We now have all the pieces in place for the rapid distribution of vaccines. But we still need to scale up production,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing from Geneva on Monday.

Also Monday, Britain began a quarantine program for travelers arriving from 33 “red list” countries determined to be a high risk for COVID-19, as part of its effort to keep variant strains of the coronavirus out of the country.

Under the program, anyone entering Britain is required to spend 10 days quarantined in a hotel room. Arrivals from countries not on the red list are required to quarantine at home for 10 days and take two tests for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronoavirus.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday he wants to chart a “cautious, but irreversible” path out of lockdown.

“If we possibly can, we’ll be setting out dates,” he said.

Johnson said he would like to stick to his current plan to reopen schools in the country on March 8 but said it will depend “on the data.” He noted infection rates were still very high in Britain, as is the death rate.

In the United States, top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci won a $1 million Israeli prize Monday for “defending science” throughout his career.

The Israel-based Dan David Foundation said Fauci was chosen for the prize for his lifetime of leadership on HIV research, as well as his advocacy for the vaccines against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe state media reported Monday the nation received its first doses of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, donated from China. The report said Zimbabwe’s government has also purchased an additional 600,000 doses that are expected to arrive in the African nation next month. The amount is still far short of what it will need to inoculate the country’s population of 14 million.

Colombia also received its first doses of a coronavirus vaccine on Monday. President Ivan Duque and his health minister were at the airport to welcome the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine doses.

In the Czech Republic, the government approved a plan Monday for children and students to gradually return to schools beginning March 1. Schools in the country have mostly been closed since October.

While governments around the world make decisions on how much to reopen their societies, the makers of COVID-19 vaccines are working on ways to modify their inoculations to protect against new virus mutations.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization are looking to the global flu vaccine system in deciding how to handle decisions about when to modify COVID-19 shots, according to The Associated Press.

Recent studies have shown that current COVID-19 vaccines do not work as well against newer strains of the virus.

On Sunday, U.S. researchers reported a new mutation found in seven coronavirus variants that have been identified in several states.

It is not immediately clear, however, if the U.S. variants are as highly contagious as the British and South African variants.

The average number of confirmed daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. has recently dropped below 100,000 for the first time in months. However, the United States remains the country with the highest number of cases.

There have been more than 109 million coronavirus infections worldwide. The U.S. has more than 27.6 million, followed by India with 10.9 million and Brazil with 9.8 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the virus.

Mental health professionals are warning about a mental health crisis among young people brought on by the pandemic. Mental health experts say young people are experiencing loneliness and despair, and some are contemplating suicide with all the upheavals the virus has brought to their young lives.

Source: Voice of America