Company and People Notes: Abbott and Takeda Agree to End TAP Venture; Kosan Biosciences Appoints Helen S. Kim as CEO; More

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ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Also, Alkermes announces restructuring and reduction of workforce, Icagen announces several senior management promotions, more...

Company Notes

Abbott Park, IL (Mar. 19)-Abbott and Takeda Pharmaceutical (Osaka, Japan) agreed to conclude their TAP Pharmaceutical Products (TAP) joint venture and divide the value of TAP. Abbott receives rights to the oncology treatment, Lupron, including the commercial organization supporting that franchise, and will receive payments based on TAP’s other current and certain future products. Takeda receives the rights to the product Prevacid, all the remaining TAP commercial and support organizations, and the rights to TAP’s pipeline. The companies expect the transaction to close within 30-60 days. Abbott expects the transaction to be neutral to 2008 earnings per share. Takeda expects that this agreement will have no impact to its consolidated financial results for the current fiscal year.

London (Mar. 13)-AstraZeneca and Silence Therapeutics signed a deal to develop new approaches for the delivery of short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) molecules. The siRNA approach selectively ‘silences’ or inactivates genes that play a role in disease. Under the terms of the agreement, both Silence Therapeutics and AstraZeneca will be allowed to commercialize the novel delivery systems they develop together. Silence Therapeutics will retain the right to sign further delivery deals to capture value from its AtuPLEX delivery technology as well as any improvements to this technology that it generates either independently or as part of this collaboration. The financial details were not disclosed.

Cambridge, MA (Mar. 19)-Following Eli Lilly’s termination of the “AIR Insulin” program, Alkermes announced a restructuring program that includes a workforce reduction of about 150 employees (approximately 18% of the company’s total workforce) and the closure of its AIR manufacturing facility in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The reduction is effective this week, and affected employees will be eligible for a severance package that includes severance pay, continuation of benefits and outplacement services.

The company also announced it does not anticipate any expense savings as a result of the restructuring in fiscal 2008, ending March 31, 2008. Alkermes expects to take a restructuring charge in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 in the range of $5 million to $10 million associated with the reduction in workforce and facility-related expenses. In addition, the company expects to take an impairment charge of up to $15 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 related to fixed assets at the Chelsea facility.

Oxford, UK (Mar. 11-EUSA Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company, will acquire all the outstanding shares of specialty oncology company Cytogen (Princeton, NJ) for $22.6 million. EUSA Pharma has also raised more than $50 million in an investment round, led by TVM Capital, an international venture capital firm, to fund the acquisition and further investments.

Sophia Antipolis, France (Mar. 19)-NicOx signed an agreement with the fine chemical company Archimica (Frankfurt, Germany) for the commercial manufacture and supply of the active pharmaceutical ingredient in naproxcinod. Naproxcinod is NicOx’s lead investigational product and the first compound in the COX-Inhibiting Nitric Oxide-Donating class of anti-inflammatory agents. NicOx expects to file a new drug application for naproxcinod with the US Food and Drug Administration mid-2009.


Raleigh, NC (Mar. 19)-PRA International, a global clinical research organization, has moved its Mumbai, India, office to a larger facility. The new location triples the size of the former space and includes more offices and conference and meeting spaces. The company expects its Mumbai staff to increase from 20 to 50 employees by the end of 2008.

Aubagne, France/Goettingen, Germany (Mar. 18)-Sartorius Stedim Biotech will collaborate with ProMetic Life Sciences (Montreal, Canada) on a technology transfer deal resulting from their collaboration entered into in 2006. ProMetic recently announced deals with Asian companies for the license, development, and commercialization of its plasma products. Sartorius Stedim Biotech expects significant demand for its services and filtration equipment and consumables as a result of its collaboration with ProMetic.

People Notes

Shenyang, China (Mar. 19)-3SBio, a biotechnology company appointed David Chen to the newly created role of executive vice-president and chief operating officer, effective immediately. Chen most recently held the position of vice-president of business development at 3SBio. He will be based in Beijing, China.

Research Triangle Park, NC (Mar. 19)-Biotechnology company Icagen announced several recent senior management promotions. Richard Katz was promoted to executive vice-president of finance and corporate development, and chief financial officer. Katz was senior vice-president of finance and corporate development, and CFO since 2001. Douglas Krafte, PhD, was promoted to vice-president of biology and scientific affairs. Krafte has served as vice-president of biology for the last six years and previously as director of biology. Mark Suto, PhD, was promoted to vice-president of chemical and pharmaceutical sciences. Suto has served as vice-president of chemistry for the last four years.

Hayward, CA (Mar. 18)-The board of directors of Kosan Biosciences appointed Helen S. Kim as chief executive officer, effectively immediately. Kim joined Kosan in January 2008 as senior vice-president and chief business officer, and was appointed president in late February.

Scottsdale, AZ (Mar. 18)-Thomas Ichim was appointed chief executive officer by the board of directors of Medistem Laboratories, effective immediately. Ichim succeeds Neil Riordan who will continue serving as chairman of the board and will retain the title of president.

The Woodlands, TX (Mar. 21)-Opexa Therapeutics, a company focused on the development and commercialization of personalized cell therapies, announced that David B. McWilliams, president and chief executive officer, will retire following the naming of his successor.