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Orion Pharma sells certain assets of its infusion business to Baxter

Orion Pharma's intravenous infusion and nutritional products are manufactured solely for the Finnish hospital market at the Oulu plant in northern Finland. Some time ago Orion Pharma announced that increased competition and reduced profitability have forced it to critically evaluate continuation of the infusion business.

The sale of the infusion business assets does not include production facilities or machinery and equipment. According to the agreement neither does the personnel relating to the infusion production transfer to Baxter. As agreed between the companies Orion Pharma will produce infusion products for Baxter at Oulu plant until March 31, 2001. Orion Pharma and Baxter will secure that there is a continuous supply of products to the customers to fulfil the purchase orders.

Orion Pharma has completed the statutory negotiations with the personnel in Oulu plant, which by Finnish law are required.

Price of the deal has limited impact on Orion Pharma's operating profit. Turnover of Orion Pharma's infusion business was EUR 8 million in 1999.

Baxter International Inc. is a global medical products and services company that provides critical therapies for people with life-threatening conditions. Baxter's products and services in medication delivery, bioscience (biopharmaceuticals and blood collection, separation and storage devices) and renal therapy are used by health-care providers and their patients in more than 100 countries. Baxter's consolidated net sales of 1999 were 6,4 billion US-dollars. Globally Baxter has approximately 40,000 employees and in Scandinavia about 180 employees with 30 employees in Baxter Oy in Finland, at its Vantaa office.

Orion Pharma, a research-oriented pharmaceuticals division, is the core of the Orion Group, Finland's leading company for pharmaceuticals and related products. With 1999 net sales of MEUR 437.8 Orion Pharma accounts for almost one half of the Orion Group net sales and for two thirds of the Group operating profit. Over one half of the total net sales comes from international operations. With a broad portfolio of products, Orion Pharma is the leader in the pharmaceutical market in Finland. Orion Pharma has subsidiaries in nine European countries. Orion Pharma has launched several new drugs based on its own research on its core therapy areas: central nervous system (CNS), menopausal disorders (HRT) and breast cancer, cardiology and critical care and respiratory diseases. R&D expenditure was 16,9% of the 1999 pharmaceutical net sales.

Original proprietary drugs account for an increasing share of Orion Pharma's sales. The CNS portfolio was recently supplemented by Comtess, also available as Comtan (entacapone), Orion's own NCE for Parkinson's disease, now registered and launched in 35 countries including the EU and the U.S.