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Aptuit ‘to buy GSK Italy unit’
Posted on Friday, 07 May 2010 15:38
US-based Aptuit, which helps drug companies to research, manufacture and distribute their products, is in the process of acquiring a research division in Northern Italy belonging to Glaxo SmithKline (GSK), according to local press speculation.
Reports suggest Aptuit, which operates across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, has already signed a preliminary agreement to buy the Verona-based facility and a final deal could be reached in a matter of weeks.
The research business will continue as usual and staff will be kept on in their current jobs, reports said.
It will change hands for an undisclosed sum and would likely be taken on by Aptuit’s preclinical technologies division, which designs and executes clinical trails for its clients.
Aptuit’s services in this area include toxicology, preclinical bioanalysis and safety pharmacology.
UK-based GSK last made a divestment in March 2009 when it sold a small stake in clinical laboratories operator Quest Diagnostics for USD 256.14 million.
It generated 18.1 per cent increased revenue of GBP 29.06 billion last year from USD 24.60 billion in 2008, pushing pre-tax earnings 18.5 per cent higher to GBP 7.89 billion. Both were record results in data going back to 2000.
This week GSK’s chief executive Andrew Witty moved to reassure shareholders the group is well-placed to withstand downward price pressures.
Health reforms in the US are driving down drug prices and the UK’s health budget will be squeezed, putting pressure on prices in the domestic market.
Cited by the Telegraph, Witty said GSK is accustomed to a 3.0 per cent per year decline.
"We are moving into unpredictable times; just in the last week we have seen the government in Greece cut prices by 24.0 per cent and Germany has cut prices by 10.0 per cent," the paper cited him as saying.
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