Company and People Notes: Catalent Expands Bolton, UK, Warehouse; Biotica Appoints Edward E. Hodgkin as CEO and Director; More

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ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Company and People Notes: Catalent expands Bolton, UK, warehouse; Biotica appoints Edward E. Hodgkin as CEO and director; more.

Company Notes

Huntsville, AL (Sept. 17)-Funds advised by Apax Partners agreed to acquire generics manufacturer and distributor Qualitest and Vintage Pharmaceuticals. The company produces tablets, capsules, liquids, suspensions, suppositories, creams, and ointments across a portfolio of more than 160 products, and is currently ranked among the top ten suppliers of generic pharmaceuticals based on the total number of prescriptions filled.

Somerset, NJ (Sept. 17)-Catalent Pharma Solutions, a provider of outsourced clinical and commercial packaging services, will expand its temperature-controlled warehouse in Bolton, United Kingdom, to meet increased customer demand for clinical-supply services, especially cold-chain storage and distribution. This expansion involves a purpose-built extension of the existing facility and is expected to be operational in June 2008. Planned features for the temperature-controlled warehouse include floor space of more than 7500 ft2, more than 2700 controlled ambient storage locations, and a 320-pallet refrigerator.   

Menlo Park, CA (Sept. 17)-Depomed announced a force reduction affecting approximately one-fourth of its staff. Carl Pelzel, Depomed’s president and chief executive officer, commented, “This reduction was difficult because it affects so many of our loyal, talented, and hardworking employees. However, it was necessary in order to conserve cash and align our workforce to our needs in light of the disappointing results of our Phase III study in postherpetic neuralgia. The reduction in force is in addition to other ongoing cost-cutting initiatives.”

Cambridge, MA (Sept. 18)-Genzyme broke ground on an expansion of its flagship manufacturing facility at Allston Landing in Boston. The $150-million project is focused on adding space for manufacturing support functions and will allow for the creation of 90 jobs.

St. Louis, MO (Sept. 12)-Sigma-Aldrich will invest in a site at the Wuxi-New District Park (WND) located northwest of Shanghai, China, for its new Asia-Pacific manufacturing hub. Sigma-Aldrich expects to initially invest $25 million to acquire land rights and construct its first-phase, which includes a large-scale, non-CGMP, multipurpose organic manufacturing facility dedicated to supporting its SAFC fine chemicals business unit. Construction of the new plant is set to start by the end of 2007. When fully developed, the manufacturing planst is expected to produce raw materials, key intermediates and final products in support of SAFC’s businesses. The site will also contain analytical, packaging and warehousing facilities.

Franklin, MA and Durham, NC (Sept. 17)-Sontra Medical, a company focused on transdermal technology, and Echo Therapeutics, a privately held specialty transdermal therapeutics company, merged to form a single, publicly held company to operate under the name Echo Therapeutics. The newly combined company will have corporate offices in Philadelphia and research and development facilities in Franklin, Massachusetts, and Durham, North Carolina. Patrick T. Mooney and Shawn K. Singh, both formerly of Echo, will serve as chief executive officer and interim president of the combined company, respectively. Harry G. Mitchell of Sontra will continue to serve as chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the combined company.

South San Francisco, CA (Sept. 13)-VaxGen will reduce its workforce from 61 to 27 employees. The company expects the reduction to lower its monthly cash expenditures used in operating activities to $1.4 million. The company will incur a restructuring charge of approximately $1.1 million in connection with this action. The terminations include executive officer Lance Ignon, vice-president of corporate affairs. This reduction is VaxGen’s third restructuring since the US Department of Health and Human Services cancelled the company’s contract to provide a modern anthrax vaccine for civilian biodefense in December 2006.


People Notes

Cambridge UK (Sept. 13)-Biotica Technology, a privately held drug discovery company, appointed Edward E. Hodgkin as chief executive officer and director. Hodgkin will be responsible for implementing the company’s growth strategy.

San Diego (Sept. 13)-Cadence Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company, named Malvina Laudicina vice-president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance. She will lead the regulatory and quality assurance activities for the company’s two ongoing Phase III clinical development programs.

Philadelphia (Sept. 17)-Cardiokine, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of drugs for the treatment of heart conditions, announced that David Brand, president and chief executive officer, is leaving the company. The Cardiokine board is expected to make an announcement shortly regarding Brand’s successor.

Paris (Sept. 17)-DBV Technologies, a biopharmaceutical company, expanded its management team with the appointment of Laurent Martin as regulatory affairs director. The company also moved to new facilities in central Paris, while maintaining its registered site in Boulogne on the outskirts of Paris.

Pittsburgh, PA (Sept. 14)-Mylan Laboratories appointed M. Fabiana Lacerca to senior vice-president and chief compliance officer. Lacerca joins Mylan from Bristol-Myers Squibb (New York), where she was the director of compliance for Latin America, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Branford, CT (Sept. 14)-Neurogen Corporation, a small molecule drug discovery and development company, appointed Stephen R. Davis president, effective immediately. Davis previously served as executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

Allegan, MI (Sept. 13)-Mori Arkin, vice chairman and general manager of Perrigo Global Generics and API, advised the company that he will retire at the expiration of his current employment agreement on March 17, 2008. Arkin will remain in his current role until that time, managing the business and working to ensure an orderly transition. Arkin will remain a member of the company’s board of directors and continue to assist the company as needed.