Company and People Notes: Actavis Acquires Site From Pfizer, Cardiokine Names President and CEO, More

January 24, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Actavis Acquires Site From Pfizer, Cardiokine Names President and CEO, More...

Company Notes

Hafnarfjordur, Iceland (Jan. 18)-Actavis signed an agreement to acquire a manufacturing site from Pfizer (New York) located in the township of Nerviano, Italy, approximately 30 km from Milan. The site covers an area of 300,000 m2 and employs about 340 permanent staff. The Nerviano site was originally developed and founded by Farmitalia in 1965. It is approved by the US Food and drug administration (FDA), European Union (EU) and Japanese regulatory authorities. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of January 2008.

Barceloneta, Puerto Rico (Jan. 18)-Bristol-Myers Squibb will cease operations at its Barceloneta manufacturing plant by the end of 2008. The closure is a result of the decrease in market demand for a number of the products produced at the site and the company’s efforts aimed at enhancing efficiency. The closure of the site will impact approximately 225 individuals. The company will continue to have a presence in Puerto Rico with manufacturing operations in Humacao and Manati.

Bothell, WA (Jan. 18)-Helix BioMedix, a biopharmaceutical company, announced that it has entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement with Peptisyntha (Brussels). According to the terms of the agreement, Peptisyntha will manufacture and supply to Helix BioMedix its requirements for certain peptides at specified prices for an initial term of two years.

Boston, MA (Jan. 17)-Pharmarama, a company focused on procuring pharmaceutical products for comparator trials and named patient programs, opened of its US office in Needham, Massachusetts. The new office will enable US pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to source comparator drugs for human studies in regions including Central and Eastern Europe and Asia.

Vancouver (Jan. 18)-Biopharmaceutical company QLT reduced its workforce by 45% (approximately 115 people) at its Vancouver headquarters and its US subsidiaries, including members of its management team. Alain Curaudeau will depart as senior vice-president of portfolio and project management and acting senior vice-president of research and development. Dr. Julia Levy, who cofounded QLT in 1981, will retire from her position as executive chair, scientific advisory board and all other formal QLT activities.

The company plans to focus its business on its “Visudyne” franchise and its clinical development programs related to its punctal plug delivery technology and its photodynamic therapy dermatology technology. Further reductions in force are expected in 2008 as QLT’s assets are divested under the restructuring. A restructuring charge of approximately $7.5 million will be recorded in 2008.

Research Triangle Park, NC (Jan. 17)-Quintiles Transnational will open an office in Wilmington, NC. The new office, the company’s second expansion within the state in the last 12 months, is an expansion of Quintiles’ clinical research in pharmaceutical and biotechnology development. Last January, the company opened a data processing center in Williamston, N.C.

Clayton, NC (Jan. 17)-Talecris Biotherapeutics, Inc. (TBI) announced the merger of Precision Pharma Services, a wholly owned Talecris subsidiary, into TBI. Precision Pharma of Melville, New York, was acquired by Talecris’ parent company in 2005, and maintained its name and separate operations until this merger. The 140 Melville employees will remain at that location. Precision Pharma is an outsourcing partner providing manufacturing and testing services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

People Notes

Columbia, MD (Jan. 8)-Dr. Bruce Littman joined the board of directors at BioFortis, a privately held company focused on providing biomedical research software and services to the life-sciences sector. Littman is a former vice-president and global head of translational medicine at Pfizer (New York).

Novato, CA (Jan. 22)-BioMarin Pharmaceutical appointed Steve Glass as vice-president and general manager of European operations. BioMarin Europe, headquartered in London, is responsible for the sales and distribution of “Naglazyme” for MPS VI (mucopolysaccharidosis VI) in Europe.

Philadelphia, PA (Jan. 22)-Cardiokine, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company, appointed Dr. Manuel Worcel president and chief executive officer. He also will serve as a director of the company.

Keele, UK (Jan. 18)-Cobra Biomanufacturing named Simon James Yvon Saxby chief operating officer. Saxby will also join Cobra’s board and will run the contract manufacturing side of the group. The company also announced that David Thatcher will step down as chief executive, continuing to provide guidance on company affairs as a nonexecutive director. Thatcher will also act as consultant for Cobra’s oral vaccine project.

Redwood City, CA (Jan. 17)-Codexis, a developer of clean manufacturing processes, appointed Nicholas Green to the position of president of Codexis Pharmaceuticals. He will report to Alan Shaw, PhD, president and chief executive officer.

Foster City, CA (Jan. 21)-Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company, announced that Caroline Dorsa has resigned from her position as chief financial officer (CFO), a role she assumed in November 2007, to pursue another opportunity. Gilead will initiate a search for a new CFO. In the interim, John F. Milligan, PhD, Gilead’s chief operating officer, will reassume the responsibilities of CFO, a position he held from 2003 until 2007, effective immediately.

South San Francisco, CA (Jan. 21)-Hyperion Therapeutics appointed Mark Spring as senior vice-president and chief financial officer. Spring joins Hyperion from MedImmune, where he served as vice-president of finance and controller.