As part of the transaction, which was announced in March 2007, Novartis transferred manufacturing responsibility for Betaseron
to Bayer and received a total payment of roughly $200 million for the transfer of production equipment, inventory, and the
leasing of buildings at the site.
Bayer will pay Novartis royalties on the net sales of Betaseron manufactured at the Emeryville facilities until the original
regulatory filing, development, and supply agreement expires in October 2008.
Bayer will help Novartis submit a regulatory filing for the latter's 250-μg version of interferon beta-1b. If Novartis's drug
is approved, Bayer will manufacture the product for Novartis from 2009 onward. In return, Novartis will make royalty payments
Sandwich, UK (Sept. 11)—Pfizer (New York) plans to cease all remaining manufacturing operations at its facility in Sandwich, Kent, United Kingdom. The closure
will result in the loss of approximately 420 jobs, phased over the next two years, according to a company release.
The move is part of Pfizer's ongoing efforts to consolidate worldwide manufacturing operations to manage global capacity and
demand more efficiently, as well as establish a smaller and more flexible cost base, the company specified.
The Sandwich facility manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for human and veterinary drugs. Also located at
Sandwich are a bioprocess development group, which develops new processes for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals using living
(biological) systems, and a process analytical support group, which develops technologies to improve process understanding
and control within Pfizer's plants.
A small API development function, comprising around 10–15 roles, will remain at Sandwich to support the development of regulatory
starting materials. Site infrastructure services (e.g., provision of utilities and waste management) will also continue at
In January 2005, Pfizer announced a rationalization of manufacturing at Sandwich, which scaled down manufacturing activity
at the site to API manufacture only.
Cambridge, MA and Carlsbad, CA (Sept. 7)—Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Isis Pharmaceuticals launched Regulus Therapeutics, a joint venture focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of microRNA therapeutics.
Regulus will combine the strengths and assets of Isis's and Alnylam's technologies, intellectual property, and leadership.