April 19, 2007 Notes: Adventrx Grants Manufacturing License to Hyaluron, VIMA Purchases Zanchetta, more

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ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Adventrx, Hyaluron, MedImmune, Novartis, More


Company Notes

San Diego, CA (Apr. 5)-Adventrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (www.adventrx.com) granted a manufacturing contract to Hyaluron Contract Manufacturing (Burlington, MA, www.hyaluron.com) for ANX-514 (docetaxel emulsion), a chemotherapy drug. Hyaluron will manufacture ANX-514 for preclinical and clinical studies.

Oslo, Norway (Apr. 11)-Affitech AS (www.affitech.com) entered into an agreement with ProBioGen AG (Berlin, www.probiogen.de) to develop a cell line for high-level production of one of Affitech's lead oncology therapeutic antibody candidates. ProBioGen will use its cell-generation process combined with an automated cloning process to identify and develop a high-producing line that is suitable for a fed-batch development process.

Bologna, Italy (Apr. 13)-VIMA Impianti S.r.l. (www.vimaimpianti.com) agreed to buy all of the shares of Zanchetta S.r.l. (Lucca, Italy) for EUR 1.4 million (approx. $1.9 million). VIMA paid 90% of the final price on closing the deal, and the difference will be paid by April 30.

Needham, MA (Apr. 16)-AVANT Immunotherapeutics, Inc. (www.avantimmune.com) will restructure to reduce ongoing operational costs and focus on building its portfolio of viral and bacterial vaccines. The company will reduce its workforce by 30% as part of the restructuring and leave its research facility in St. Louis, Missouri. All essential research activities will be located at its headquarters in Needham, Massachusetts.


London (Apr. 16)-Introgen Therapeutics, Inc. (www.introgen.com) was certified by the United Kingdom's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA, London, www.mhra.gov.uk). The certification indicates that the facilities and production processes are compliant with European good manufacturing practices for the manufacture of "Advexin p53," a tumor-rageting molecular therapy. Advexin will now be available to cancer patients in the European Union.

Lafayette Hill, PA (Apr. 16)-Integrated Project Services (IPS, www.ipsdb.com) has opened two new offices, in Hyderabad and New Delhi, India. The offices offer access to a team of experts providing services such as drug development, technical consulting, facility design, process engineering, commissioning, and validation.

Lansdale, PA (April)-Integrated Service Solutions, Inc. (www.integratedservicesolutions.com) relocated its corporate headquarters to a 20,000 ft2 facility in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. The relocation resulted from a need to expand service operations and an increase in the company's metrology laboratory business. In addition to housing the executive, customer service, administration, and quality assurance departments, the facility includes a 6000 ft2 metrology laboratory as well as mass and total organic carbon laboratories.

Philadelphia, PA (Apr. 12)-Generic pharmaceuticals manufacturer Lannett Company, Inc. (www.lannett.com) acquired a privately owned manufacturer and supplier of bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients. Included in the transaction is a 75,000 ft2 manufacturing facility, which includes warehouse space and research and development equipment.

Gaithersburg, MD (Apr. 12)-MedImmune, Inc. (www.medimmune.com) is evaluating whether third parties would be interested in acquiring the company. The decision is a result of major pharmaceutical companies expressing interest and stockholders' complaints over the company's short-term stock price performance.

San Diego, CA (Apr. 9)-MultiCell Technologies, Inc. (www.multicelltech.com) entered into an agreement with active pharmaceutical ingredient and intermediate manufacturer Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals Italy S.p.A. (Padova, Italy, www.lupichem.com). Lundbeck will supply one of the active components of MCT-125, MultiCell's Phase IIb drug for the treatment of chronic fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Basel, Switzerland (Apr. 12)-As part of its strategy to divest certain programs to focus on healthcare and pharmaceuticals, Novartis (www.novartis.com) will sell its Gerber baby food business to Nestle (Vevey, Switzerland, www.nestle.com). Nestle will pay $5.5 billion for the business. The transaction is expected to close by the second half of 2007.

Dublin (Apr. 11)-United Drug plc (www.united-drug.ie) acquired the pharma and healthcare packaging division of Budelpack International (Hamont, Belgium, www.budelpack.com). Budelpack provides a full range of contract packaging services aimed at the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.

Rockville, MD (Apr. 17)-The United States Pharmacopeia (USP, www.usp.org) announced that Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (Hyderabad, India, www.drreddys.com) will be the first participant in USP's pharmaceutical ingredient verification program. Dr. Reddy's will submit ingredients to USP, which will evaluate the company's quality systems for GMP compliance, review the ingredients' manufacturing and quality-control documents, and test the ingredients for compliance with USP's standards for purity, potency, and quality. If the ingredients are up to USP's standards, Dr. Reddy's will be permitted to post the USP Verified mark on its shipping containers.

People Notes

Bridgewater, NJ (Apr. 17)-Jeffrey S. Campbell was promoted to executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Alpharma, Inc. (www.alpharma.com). Campbell joined the company as vice-president and controller in October 2002 and has been acting as interim chief financial officer since September 2006.

Hopkinton, MA (Apr. 16)-Boston Life Sciences, Inc. (www.bostonlifesciences.com) appointed Frank Bobe, PhD, executive vice-president and chief business officer. Bobe previously served as president and chief executive officer of BioAxone Therapeutic, Inc. and as chief executive officer and country head of the South Korean affiliate of Novartis AG.

Raleigh, NC (Apr. 17)-J. Scott Mohrland, PhD, was named president and chief executive officer of Erimos Pharmaceuticals (www.erimos.com). Before joining Erimos, Mohrland served as executive vice-president of GMP Companies, Inc.

Cambridge, MA (Apr. 18)-Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (www.molecularinsight.com) named Brian Abeysekera, PhD, vice-president of manufacturing. Abeysekera joins the company after more than 20 years at MDS Nordion.

Basel, Switzerland (Apr. 12)-Novartis (www.novartis.com) appointed Joseph Jimenez chief executive officer of its consumer-health division. Jimenez replaces Paul Choffat, who is retiring at the end of April. Jimenez joins the company from private-equity firm The Blackstone Group.

Ann Arbor, MI (Apr. 18)-Kay E. Stremler was appointed vice-president of manufacturing at Pipex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (www.pipexpharma.com). Stremler was previously director, bioprocess research and development and clinical supply, pharmaceutical sciences for Esperion Therapeutics. She also was responsible for GMP manufacturing at Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharma KG.