Company and People Notes: Crucell and Sanofi Pasteur Sign Agreement, WuXi Pharma Names COO, More

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Crucell and Sanofi Pasteur Sign Agreement, WuXi Pharma Names COO, More...

Company Notes

Buffalo Grove, IL (Dec. 21)-Akorn announced the US Food and Drug Administration’s satisfactory results of a recent CGMP compliance inspection of its Decatur, Illinois, manufacturing facility. This inspection also served as a preapproval inspection for Akorn’s new lyophilization operation. As a result of this inspection, the company is now eligible for pending product approvals in its ophthalmic, ampoule, liquid vial, and lyophilization production filling suites at the facility.

Leiden, The Netherlands (Jan. 3)-Biotechnology company Crucell signed a collaboration and commercialization agreement with Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis (Paris), for Crucell’s rabies monoclonal antibodies, the next-generation rabies biologicals to be used in association with rabies vaccine for post-exposure prophylaxis. Crucell will continue to perform the development activities and will be responsible for manufacturing the final product.

Essen, Germany (Dec. 21)-Evonik Industries expanded the research and development center that it opened five years ago in Mumbai, India. Laboratory space for pharmaceutical production has doubled to 1200 m2. The center will also house the offices for the regional management of the group’s 11 business units active on the Indian subcontinent, a region that includes Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Cambridge, MA (Jan. 7)-Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals (Carlsbad, CA) formed an agreement in which Genzyme will develop and commercialize mipomersen, Isis’ lipid-lowering treatment for high-risk cardiovascular patients that uses novel antisense technology. As part of the agreement, Genzyme will also have preferred access to future Isis drugs for CNS and certain rare diseases. Genzyme will pay Isis $150 million to purchase five million shares of Isis common stock for $30 per share upon Hart-Scott-Rodino clearance. Upon completion of final contracts, Genzyme will pay Isis a $175-million upfront mipomersen license fee. In addition to this initial $325 million, Isis could receive significant milestone payments for mipomersen, which is currently in Phase III trials. The two companies will share profits after the product launches.

Baltimore, MD (Jan. 3)-Pharmaceutics International acquired Pharmaterials (Reading, UK), a preformulation and formulation development company. Professor Graham Buckton remains CEO of Pharmaterials and will now switch to 70% of his time within the company and 30% within the School of Pharmacy, University of London.

Shanghai (Jan. 3)-WuXi PharmaTech, a provider of pharmaceutical research and development outsourcing services, signed a definitive agreement to acquire AppTec Laboratory Services (St. Paul, Minnesota), a provider of testing, contract research and development, and biologics CGMP manufacturing services. The transaction consideration totals approximately $151 million with the additional assumption of AppTec debt totaling approximately $11.7 million.

People Notes

Woburn, MA (Jan. 8)-Dr. Stephen A. Hill, president and chief executive officer of ArQule, a research and development organization, will leave the company in early 2008. ArQule initiated a search for Hill’s successor.

Rockville, MD (Jan. 8)-BioReliance, a contract services company, named James J. Kramer, PhD, vice-president of operations, US Biologics. Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm, acquired BioReliance from Invitrogen in April 2007.

Montreal (Jan. 8)-The board of directors of DRAXIS Health appointed Dan Brazier as the new president and chief executive officer effective January 1, 2008. Jean-Pierre Robert was appointed chief operating officer of DRAXIS Health. Robert will continue to retain his position as president of DRAXIS Specialty Pharmaceuticals, the company’s wholly owned operating subsidiary.

Exton, PA (Jan. 8)-Isolagen’s board of directors named Declan Daly as chief executive officer of the company. Daly will continue as chief financial officer for a period of time. Former CEO Nicholas L. Teti, Jr. will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors and as a consultant to Isolagen, but has resigned as president and CEO to pursue other interests.

Atlanta, GA (Jan. 7)-MIV Therapeutics announced that Dr. Mark Landy, president, will assume the role of chief executive officer of the company effective immediately. He assumes this position from Alan Lindsay, who will remain chairman of the board.

Miami (Jan. 3)-Noven Pharmaceuticals announced changes to its board of directors and senior management team. Robert C. Strauss will retire from the roles of president, chief executive officer, director and chairman of Noven. Strauss will remain available to the company through the transition period of the company’s leadership. The board of directors named Wayne P. Yetter, currently Noven’s lead independent director, as chairman of the board, and Jeffrey F. Eisenberg, currently Noven’s senior vice-president of strategic alliances, as executive vice-president and interim chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Berlin (Jan. 7)-NOXXON Pharma appointed Frank Morich, MD, chief executive officer. Morich replaces Dr. Sven Klussmann, who served for a transition period both as CEO and chief scientific officer. Klussmann will now serve as CSO.

Shanghai (Jan. 3)-WuXi PharmaTech, a provider of pharmaceutical outsourcing services, promoted Edward Hu from executive vice-president of operations to chief operating officer.