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Aceto Corp. to produce 2 generic drugs

Albert Eilender, chief executive Aceto Corp. of Port

Albert Eilender, chief executive Aceto Corp. of Port Washington. Credit: Handout

The Port Washington-based specialty chemical company Aceto Corp. said Monday that a major subsidiary will make the first generic version of the antifungal drug Ancobon.

Aceto, traditionally a supplier of bulk chemicals, is redefining itself as a maker of finished pharmaceutical products through the subsidiary, Rising Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The purchase of Rising, of Allendale, N.J., in December 2010, has provided Aceto with the opportunity for "a strong pipeline of new products that would drive sales and expand margins," Daniel Rizzo, an analyst with Sidoti & Co. LLC, of Manhattan, said.

Aceto has been working for years to develop a longterm strategy of producing "end-form generics," Rizzo said.

Rising will make and sell generic flucytosine in 250 mg and 500 mg capsules. The drug is used to treat serious infections caused by candida and cryptococcus fungi.

Aceto also said Monday that Rising will make and market a second generic drug, the malaria medication Aralen; it will make the generic, chloroquine phosphate, in 500 mg tablets.

In early trading Monday Aceto fell $0.10 to $6.19, down 31 percent for the year to date. With 238 employees, Aceto has a market capitalization of $165 million; it generated $9.2 million profit on $426 million in revenue during the past 12 months.

Rising won approval from the Food and Drug Administration for both generics after submitting abbreviated new drug applications, Aceto said.

Aceto did not provide an estimate of its sales expectations for the two drugs. It said market research showed the two drugs generated $20 million in U.S. sales for the twelve-month period ending in June.

In the company's quarterly report issued Nov. 3, Albert Eilender, the chief executive, said Aceto's sales in its health sciences segment -- including Rising -- increased 46.9 percent for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to the prior-year quarter.

Meanwhile its sales declined 8.3 percent in its specialty chemicals division, including aroma products and surface coatings for housing and vehicles. And its agricultural protection products segment sales fell 62.2 percent due in part to decreased sales of the herbicide glyphosate.

Eilender said the chloroquine phosphate launch "marks the first leveraging of a product by Rising that was brought to them directly as a result of Aceto's worldwide sourcing capabilities."

He said the product development "illustrates the synergistic business opportunities we believe will become more plentiful as we move forward."

Photo: Albert Eilender, Aceto chief executive.

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