Week of Mar. 7, 2011: Company and People Notes: WuXi and BMS Form Collaboration; F. Michael Ball Leaves Allergan for Hospira; and More. - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Week of Mar. 7, 2011: Company and People Notes: WuXi and BMS Form Collaboration; F. Michael Ball Leaves Allergan for Hospira; and More.

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Company Notes

Contract research organization Advion plans to open a 22,000-ft2 drug-discovery bioanalytical laboratory to support Eli Lilly. The facility, expected to be operational by May 2011, will be located in the Purdue Research Park of Indianapolis's technology center at the Ameriplex Business Park.

Amatsi (formerly known as CRID Pharma) and Avogadro, two contract drug-development organizations, announced that they will combine to form the contract development and manufacturing organization Amatsi-Avogadro.

Biotechnology company Amyris formed a contract-manufacturing pact with the contract manufacturing organization Antibióticos under which Antibióticos will produce farnesene at its facilities in León, Spain. The produced farnesene will be owned and distributed by Amyris.

Contract research organization Charles Rivers has partnered with Pfizer to provide certain Pfizer-developed genetically modified research models. Under the agreement, Charles River will supply a number of precompetitive, transgenic research models developed by Pfizer across therapeutic areas, such as neuroscience, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Contract research organization Covance received accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) for the company’s development research facility in Shanghai. The facility provides bioanalytical, toxicology, lead optimization toxicology, in-vivo pharmacokinetic screening, and metabolism services.

Clondalkin Group, a producer of flexible and specialist packaging products, agreed to acquire the Printed Components business of Catalent Pharma Solutions. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and closing is subject to regulatory approval. In addition, Clondalkin and Catalent will enter into a long-term supply agreement.

CSM Global Pharma, a joint venture between Cadila Pharma and the Holtzman Group, will invest $65 million in a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Kigali, Rwanda, in association with the Rwandan Development Board (RDB). The RDB said that the plant would manufacture solids, liquids, gels, ointments, creams, syrups, biologicals, injectables, vaccines, and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2015.

GEA Pharma Systems, a provider of pharmaceutical processing solutions, signed an agency-representation agreement with Christian Berner Tech Trade, a technical trading company based in Oslo, to sell its range of GEA solid-dosage technologies throughout Sweden and Norway.

Genzyme completed the sale of its pharmaceutical intermediates business to International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG). ICIG purchased substantially all of the pharmaceutical intermediates business, excluding the drug-delivery technologies portion. The acquired business has been renamed Corden Pharma Switzerland and will operate as part of ICIG’s pharmaceutical business within the Corden Pharma group platform of companies. Financial terms were not disclosed. The approximately 120 employees of the pharmaceutical intermediates business will remain employed with Corden Pharma, which plans to maintain operations at the business’s primary location, a manufacturing facility in Liestal, Switzerland. The company will also maintain a US sales and marketing office in Boston. As part of the agreement, Corden Pharma entered into a supply contract to provide Genzyme with materials needed for the production of eliglustat tartrate, an investigational treatment for Gaucher disease Type 1 that is currently in Phase III clinical trials.

Genzyme’s board of directors unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the sanofi aventis revised tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Genzyme common stock for $74.00 and one contingent value right, per share. Sanofi extended the offer, which was previously scheduled to expire on Mar. 16, 2011, until Apr. 1, 2011.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) outlined new plans to encourage students graduating from UK universities to consider pursuing a career within the company. Each year, GSK currently recruits between 50–100 undergraduate students from various academic disciplines into its UK Graduate Training Programs or other roles within the company. Successful applicants are already offered competitive compensation packages. GSK will reimburse certain tuition fees for all undergraduates recruited in the UK. These payments will be made upon the commencement of full employment and will be conditional on the employee remaining with the company for a minimum of two years.

Biopharmaceutical company GTx and the pharmaceutical company Ipsen have agreed to terminate their collaboration for the development and commercialization of toremifene. According to a press statement by GTx’s CEO, after studying the business case for toremifene 80 mg, the companies decided to terminate the collaboration.

Lycera, a biopharmaceutical company, entered into a drug-development pact with Merck & Co. focused on small molecules that target T-helper 17 (Th17) cells, key mediators of inflammation, with the aim of developing therapies for autoimmune diseases. Lycera will receive $12 million in upfront cash payments, significant committed research funding, and is eligible to receive up to $295 million in milestone payments, as well as royalties on product sales.

Marken, a provider of clinical-trial logistics and storage services, added a clinical-trial material supply depot in Singapore. The 14,500-ft2 facility offers a range of secured storage conditions and services, such as drug returns and destruction and kit building.

Ricerca Biosciences, a contract research organization, formed a pact with Fulcrum Pharma, an Aptiv Solutions company, a provider of drug-development consulting and regulatory services. The collaboration is designed to provide biopharmaceutical companies with an efficient process to move a candidate from development to clinical evaluation.

The University of California at San Francisco formed a two-year drug-delivery pact with Zcube, the research corporate venture arm of Italian pharmaceutical company Zambon. The agreement focuses on microtechnology and new ways to deliver oral medications to a targeted site in the body, particularly, to the small intestine and colon. According to a UCSF press release, the research will center on a microdevice that resembles a tiny, square Band-Aid with reservoirs in the middle for medication. Hundreds of these micropads would be packaged into a normal-sized pill, which would break down and release them into the intestine, where they would stick to the intestinal wall and deliver medications.

Contract research organization WuXi PharmaTech and Bristol-Myers Squibb formed a collaboration for a new stability-testing facility in Singapore. Under the agreement, WuXi will build, equip, and operate a CGMP-compliant 25,000-ft2 analytical testing facility to store and test stability samples and to perform other services for Bristol-Myers Squibb.

People Notes

Allergan’s board of directors has reappointed David E.I. Pyott as president. Pyott will also continue in his current roles as chairman and CEO. Pyott’s role as president succeeds the duties performed by F. Michael Ball, who has accepted the position of CEO of Hospira, a specialty pharmaceutical company. Pyott will assume his new role on Mar. 27, 2011, the day of Ball’s departure from Allergan.

Cambridge Major Laboratories promoted Chief Business Officer Brian W. Scanlan to the positions of president and CEO. He replaces Michael Major, the company’s founder and CEO for the past 11 years, who has decided to retire.

Chemsultants International, a company focused on polymer-based products and technologies, named Jack Yeary as Quality Specialist. He will report to Cheryl Saqqa, testing project leader.

Gentium, a biopharmaceutical company, appointed Adrian Haigh senior vice-president of commercial operations. Haigh previously served as a regional vice-president of commercial operations for Biogen Idec

ISP Pharmaceuticals appointed Yunxia (Vivian) Bi technical director of the company’s Solubility Initiative. In the newly created position, she will oversee the development of technical data and information to support the use of ISP’s solubility-enhancing ingredient portfolio and solid-dispersion development services. Bi previously served as associate principal scientist at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Rexahn Pharmaceuticals CEO Chang Ahn will give up his position and become the company’s chief science officer. He will continue to serve as chairman of the company’s board. Rexahn has initiated a search for a CEO to succeed Ahn and expects to appoint a successor by October 2011.

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