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SAFC, the custom manufacturing and services business unit of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (SIAL - Analyst Report), announced that it has added a number of raw materials to its portfolio of PharmaGrade products. The PharmaGrade portfolio was launched in early 2012 and consists of more than 65 high-quality buffers, amino acids and specialty chemicals, for use in manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals.

All the products in the PharmaGrade portfolio highlight formal manufacturer qualification, quality assurance review and release of every lot, change control notification, as well as quality and regulatory support documentation.

With the recent expansion of PharmaGrade products, Sigma-Aldrich will be able to provide raw materials with good quality designs in the early phase of development, thereby boosting customers’ confidence. The portfolio also helps customers better manage their time by making available the products that are difficult to find.

Earlier, in April 2012, Sigma-Aldrich acquired Research Organics, which further expanded the company’s PharmaGrade portfolio. The acquisition enabled Sigma to provide its customers with dual sourcing of biological buffers and further expanded PharmaGrade materials portfolio in a very short span of time.

Last week, SAFC also entered into an agreement with Seoul, South Korea-based CrystalGenomics to develop active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for next-generation non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. As per the agreement, CrystalGenomics will deploy SAFC's Pharmorphix pre-formulation technology to study active pharmaceutical ingredients

Sigma-Aldrich is a leading life science and high technology company. It released its third quarter 2012 results last month. The company posted adjusted earnings (excluding restructuring charges) of 94 cents per share for the quarter, below the year-ago earnings of 96 cents. The results were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Profit, as reported, fell roughly 4% year over year to $112 million or 92 cents per share in the quarter from $117 million or 95 cents a year ago. Unfavorable currency reduced earnings per share by 11 cents.

Revenues edged up 2% year over year to $639 million in the quarter, but trailed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $661 million. Acquisitions contributed 6% to the growth while foreign exchange swings had a negative impact of 6%.

Sigma-Aldrich expects organic growth to be 3% in 2012, within its earlier guidance of low-to-mid single digit growth. The acquisitions of BioReliance and Research Organics are expected to boost sales by 6%. However, unfavorable currency impact is expected to reduce sales by 3%.

Sigma-Aldrich, a close peer of Bayer AG (BAYRY - Analyst Report), maintains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term (1 to 3 months) Hold rating. We currently have a long-term (more than 6 months) Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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