Company and People Notes: DSM Anti-Infectives to Close Strangnas, Sweden, Site; A-Bio Names Steven S. Lee CEO; More...

October 15, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Also, Millipore opens new membrane-casting manufacturing facility in Ireland; Surface Logix appoints Keith Dionne president, CEO, and a member of the board; more...

Company Notes

St. Paul, MN (Oct. 7)-3M Drug Delivery Systems signed a license agreement with Sanofi Pasteur (Lyon, Rhône-Alpes, France), the vaccines division of Sanofi-Aventis (Paris). Under the agreement, 3M will provide its patented toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist compounds to Sanofi Pasteur for an undisclosed licensing fee, milestones, and royalties for use as vaccine adjuvants. 3M’s patented TLR immune response modifier compounds may be able to boost the effectiveness of a vaccine when used in the form of a vaccine adjuvant, according to a company press release.

Ludwigshafen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (Oct. 9)-Abbott opened development laboratories and a pilot-plant facility that will research new technologies and test large-scale production of newly developed drug formulations. The expansion is part of Abbott's global drug-delivery business, SOLIQS, which is based in Ludwigshafen.

Greenwich, CT (Oct. 1)-Aptuit launched a program to accelerate early-stage drug development. Aptuit “INDiGO” is a customizable program that offers an accelerated track from preclinical candidate selection to regulatory submission to support Phase I clinical trials.

Vienna, VA (Oct. 9)-CEL-SCI has taken delivery of a new manufacturing facility for its lead drug “Multikine.” This dedicated facility, located in the Baltimore, Maryland, will produce Multikine that will be used for the company’s Phase III clinical trial for the drug as a first-line therapy of previously untreated head and neck cancer patients, and if approved, for commercial sales. The $22-million facility will soon be commercial ready.

Heerlen, Limburg, The Netherlands (Oct. 13)-DSM Venturing, the corporate venturing unit of Royal DSM N.V., invested in a new business incubator in the field of medical devices, Accelerated Technologies II, based in New Jersey. The investment further strengthens DSM’s position in the biomedical materials market. Financial details were disclosed.

DSM announced on Oct. 2, 2008 that DSM Anti-Infectives will close its site in Strangnas, Sweden. The site mainly produces clavulanic acid, a beta-lactamase inhibitor. Total cost of closure will be slightly above EUR 10 million ($13.5 million). The facility will cease operations in late 2009, and the company expects 100 jobs will be affected.

Indianapolis, IN (Oct. 14)-Eli Lilly’s wholly owned subsidiary, Alaska Acquisition, commenced its tender offer for all outstanding shares of ImClone Systems for $70 per share, or $6.5 billion, in cash. Lilly and ImClone announced the agreement last week.

Lilly announced on Oct. 3 that it formed a collaboration and licensing agreement with the privately-held drug discovery and development company Deciphera Pharmaceuticals (Lawrence, KS) related to Deciphera's preclinical B-Raf kinase inhibitor program for the study of potential cancer treatments. The collaboration will apply Deciphera's phylomechanics discovery platform, a proprietary approach to kinase inhibitor design, together with Lilly's capabilities in discovery, development, and commercialization to pursue drug candidates for a variety of cancers.

Cleveland (Oct. 3)-Ferro Corporation, a specialty chemical manufacturer, will sell its fine-chemicals business to Arsenal Capital Management for $66 million in cash. Arsenal plans to rename the business Novolyte Technologies. The sale it includes manufacturing facilities in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Suzhou, China. The agreement is subject to normal closing conditions, and the sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Billerica, MA (Oct. 7)-Millipore, a service provider for the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry, opened a new membrane-casting manufacturing facility in Carrigtwohill, County Cork, Ireland. The 30,000 ft2 facility almost doubles the company’s membrane production capabilities in Ireland.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Oct. 9)-Patheon, a provider of drug development and manufacturing services, announced the expansion of services using a new intermediate-scale processing suite (ISPS), located at its Cincinnati, Ohio, facility. The ISPS provides increased manufacturing capacity that will bridge the gap between Patheon’s development and commercial-scale facilities.

Eastern Hayward, CA (Oct. 7)-Pharmatech Associates, a consultancy for the regulated life sciences industry, has been chosen by Pacific Biopharma Group to provide the basis of design for the first US Food and Drug Administration- and European Medicines Agency-approved biotechnology manufacturing facility in China, according to the company. The basis of design for the 181,000 ft2 facility will be the first reference document reviewed by the FDA as part of any licensure activity in China. The new facility is a CGMP laboratory that uses single-use technology throughout the biomanufacturing process. It is located in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province, in the emerging biomedical science park known as China Medical City.

St. Louis, MO (Sept. 29)-SAFC Pharma, a member of the Sigma-Aldrich Group, announced that a new reactor at its Arklow, Ireland, manufacturing site has begun operation, expanding the facility’s capacity for large-scale active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing by approximately 15%. The Arklow site is the company’s global center for the production of commercial and late-stage APIs and advanced intermediates.

SAFC Pharma also announced on Sept. 29 that a new suite has been commissioned at its St. Louis campus that will produce high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredient (HPAPI) conjugates to support oncology drug development. The 600-ft2 suite will enable the conjugation of HPAPIs to a variety of targeted delivery molecules, including monoclonal antibodies.

St. Louis, MO (Oct. 7)-Sigma-Aldrich signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that allows Sigma-Aldrich to offer research quantities of powerful new boronic acid surrogates for use in Suzuki-Miyaura coupling to researchers worldwide. Developed by Professor Martin Burke and his team, the technology has implications for drug discovery because of the ability to quickly create large sets of related small molecules. Under the terms of the agreement, Sigma-Aldrich can also satisfy commercial-scale requests for these surrogates for its manufacturing customers.

Berkeley, CA (Oct. 13)-The UC-Berkeley Center for Biopharmaceutical Operations aims to lower prices through its research in manufacturing and production of biopharmaceuticals. Bayer Healthcare and Genentech support the center and may contribute $100,000 per year in funding, according to a recent report from the East Bay Business Times. The center is scheduled to open in mid–2009.

People Notes

Singapore (Oct. 14)-A-Bio Pharma, a biologics contract manufacturer, named Steven S. Lee, PhD, chief executive officer. Lee previously served as Bristol-Myers Squibb's vice-president and general manager of Its Syracuse, New York, manufacturing and process development facility.

Ewing, NJ (Oct. 13)-Antares Pharma appointed Leonard S. Jacob, PhD, chairman of its board of directors, replacing Jacques Gonella, who will remain a member of the board. The company also announced the appointment of Paul K. Wotton, PhD, as president and CEO, effective immediately. Concurrently, Jack E. Stover resigned as both CEO and vice-chairman of the board of directors.

Rockville, MD (Oct. 14)-BioReliance, a contract services company, named Andrew “Pat” Paterson, PhD, senior director and general manager of UK Operations. Paterson will report to James Kramer, vice-president of global operations, biologics of BioReliance.

Lenexa, KS (Oct. 14)-CyDex Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company, named Theron “Ted” E. Odlaug, PhD, president and chief executive officer. Odlaug replaces John M. Siebert, PhD, who retired as CyDex’s CEO and stepped down as chairman of the company’s board of directors. Siebert will remain a consultant to the company to aid in the transition. The board of directors appointed Odlaug to the board and elected director James C. Gale as its new chairman.

Carlsbad, CA (Oct. 10)-Excaliard Pharmaceuticals appointed Lincoln Krochmal president and CEO. Prior to joining Excaliard in Sept. 2008, Krochmal served as executive vice-president of research and product development for the specialty dematology company Connetics (Palo Alto, CA), until the company's acquisition by Stiefel Laboratories. Excaliard appointed Jeff Jensen head of clinical operations. Jensen also joined Excaliard in Sept. 2008 from Connetics.

Leiden, South Holland, The Netherlands (Oct. 13)-Biotechnology company Pharming Group appointed Sijmen de Vries as CEO, effective Nov. 3, 2008. De Vries succeeds Francis J. Pinto, who will retire at the next annual general meeting of shareholders of the company in 2009. Until then, Pinto will stay on as nonexecutive chairman of the board to ensure a smooth transition.

Boston (Oct. 14)-Surface Logix, a biopharmaceutical company, appointed Keith Dionne, PhD, president, CEO, and as a member of its board of directors. Dionne has nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology industry.