August 31, 2006: Company and People Notes

August 31, 2006
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc., Boehringer Ingelheim Chemicals, Inc., MedImmune, Inc.

Company Notes

 

Kensington, MD (Aug. 29)-Advanced BioScience Laboratories, Inc. (ABL, www.ablinc.com), which is under a master agreement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH, Bethesda, MD, www.nih.gov) and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, Bethesda, MD, www3.niaid.nih.gov), awarded Althea Technologies (San Diego, CA, www.altheatech.com) a manufacturing contract to produce a DNA-based HIV-1 vaccine. Funding for the production of the vaccine totals $911,549. The contract will support Althea’s efforts in the areas of purification, regulatory documentation, developing a plasmid DNA process, and producing the vaccine.

Hayward, CA (Aug. 28)-Aradigm Corporation (www.aradigm.com)sold its “Intraject” subcutaneous delivery technology and related assets to Zogenix Inc. (San Diego, CA, www.zogenix.com) to focus on its core pulmonary delivery expertise. Zogenix plans to complete the development of and commercialize the Intraject sumatriptan product for migraine and may try to commercialize other products based on the Intraject technology. Aradigm received $4 million up front and will receive an additional milestone payment and a royalty on sales of the commercialized migraine product and any future products based on the Intraject technology.

Bad Homburg, Germany (Aug. 23)-Fresenius Kabi (www2.fresenius-kabi.com) entered into a partnership with Sandoz (Holzkirchen, Germany, www.sandoz.com) to develop a modified-form or second-generation biopharmaceutical drug. Under the agreement, Fresenius Kabi will license its proprietary “HESylation” technology to Sandoz. This technology allows the targeted modification of drugs by coupling HES to an active ingredient. Together, the companies will employ the HESylation technology to develop a modified biopharmaceutical drug based on a recombinant protein from the Sandoz pipeline. Fresenius Kabi will adapt and develop the appropriate HES derivative while Sandoz will oversee preclinical and clinical development of the drug.

Philadelphia, PA (Aug. 29)-Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc.(www.hemispherx.net) announced the worldwide exclusive licensure of the international patent estate for the in vivo use of the chemical compound dioctadecylamidoglycylspermine (DOGS). DOGS, which was developed at Vanderbilt University, is designed to deliver therapeutic DNA efficiently to the interior of cells. The acquisition is expected to enable Hemispherx to develop genetic vaccinations.

Pasadena, CA (Aug. 22)-Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.(www.jacobs.com) received a contract from Boehringer Ingelheim Chemicals, Inc. (BICI, Ingelheim, Germany, www.boehringer-ingelheim.com) to provide preliminary and detailed engineering and design, subcontract administration, and construction management for a new bulk active pharmaceutical ingredient facility at Boehringer’s Petersburg, Virginia site. The project will expand BICI’s bulk pharmaceutical manufacturing capability and continue its ongoing investment in improvements at the Petersburg site.

Gaithersburg, MD (Aug. 29)-MedImmune, Inc.(www.medimmune.com) entered into an agreement with Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, www.ipi.com) to jointly develop and commercialize small-molecule cancer drugs targeting the "Heat Shock Protein 90" (Hsp90) and the "Hedgehog" cell-signaling pathway. Under the terms of the agreement, both companies will equally share all costs and profits from the development and commercialization of any future products. MedImmune will provide Infinity with an upfront payment of $70 million for coexclusive, shared rights to the Hsp90 and Hedgehog pathway product development programs. Infinity could also receive as much as $430 million in milestone payments if the companies achieve late-stage clinical development and sales targets for future products resulting from the collaboration.

Boca Raton, FL (Aug. 29)-Nabi Biopharmaceuticals(www.nabi.com) obtained the exclusive rights to use ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.’s (Mount-Royal, QC, Canada, www.prometic.com) hyperimmune immunoglobulin extraction technology in the manufacture of certain hyperimmune products. Access to this technology is expected to provide higher yields of Nabi’s “Civacir” hepatitis C immune globulin and “Altastaph” products. Nabi will also be able to use the technology with its marketed “Nabi-HB” hepatitis B products. The agreement is expected to enable Nabi to achieve a more efficient manufacturing process and higher product margins.

Karmiel, Israel (Aug. 22)-Protalix Biotherapeutics (www.protalix.com) announced that a group of investors known as The Frost Group will invest $15 million in the company in exchange for ordinary shares representing approximately 14% of Protalix. The investors will also receive a short-term warrant for an additional 5% of Protalix for an investment of an additional $5.3 million. The investment will allow Protalix to produce advanced clinical studies for its enzyme therapy for Gaucher disease and advance additional drug development programs. In addition, Protalix entered into a merger agreement with Orthodontix, a company controlled by The Frost Group’s Philip Frost. Under the terms of the agreement, existing Protalix shareholders (excluding The Frost Group) will hold 85% of the shares of Orthodontix and The Frost Group and current shareholders of Orthodontix will hold the remaining 15%. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006, at which time Orthodontix will change its name to Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc.

People Notes

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands (June 12)-Avantium Technologies BV(www.avantium.nl) opened a local branch office in the United States and expanded its commercial team with two new employees. Andrei Winkler will take on the role of vice-president of business development. He will be responsible for the company’s service business in North America. Winkler previously worked at Cytec Industries Inc. Amy Wagner has been appointed sales director of tools and will be responsible for Avantium’s expansion into the equipment market in the United States. Before joining Avantium, she worked for Barnstead International.

Frazer, PA (Aug. 25)-Cephalon, Inc. (www.cephalon.com) appointed Lesley Russell, MB, CHB, MRCP, senior vice-president of worldwide medical and regulatory operations. In this role, she will be responsible for managing all clinical, medical, regulatory, drug-safety, and biometrics matters worldwide. She will assume the position on Sept. 1, 2006.

Louisville, CO (Aug. 28)-GlobeImmune, Inc. (www.globeimmune.com) announced that John Frenz, PhD, joined the company as vice-president of operations. In this capacity, he is responsible for managing all manufacturing operations and process development. Frenz previously held a variety of leadership roles at Genentech, Inc. and is an expert in protein separation and characterization.

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