Fresenius intends to unload biotech operation

Fresenius is huge in kidney dialysis, and its generic injectables unit has been racking up big sales gains by taking advantage of competitors' manufacturing faux pas, but it just can't seem to make money in biotech. Now it will quit trying.

The German drug and healthcare company said today that it intends to sell its biotech unit and has a couple of parties interested in taking it off its hands. According to Bloomberg, the unit actually saw a 15% pop in 9-month revenue to about $34 million but is still expected to end up about $32.7 million in the red.

The company said it is pondering holding onto the immunosuppressant drug, ATG-Fresenius S, its best-seller, Bloomberg said. Its Removab antibody agent has not met expectations. Fresenius said it will make the call in the first quarter of next year on what to unload and what to hang onto.

One bright spot this year has been its Kabi generic injectables unit, which has flourished after competitors like Hospira ($HSP) have had to close plants and halt production on drugs to make upgrades. In September, Fresenius hiked its growth forecast for the business for the third time this year, saying it expects Kabi to deliver 9% revenue growth for the year, with profit margins of around 20.5%.

- here's the release
- read the Bloomberg story