Company and People Notes: EUSA Pharma Makes Deal with GSK, BiPar Sciences Appoints Hoyoung Huh President and CEO, More

February 21, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Also, Biocon will acquire 70% of AxiCorp, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals promoted Richard W. Pascoe to the new position of COO, more...

Company Notes

Quebec City, Canada (Feb. 19)-Atrium Innovations acquired Multicare (Almere, The Netherlands). Multicare, through its subsidiary MCO Health, manufactures and markets a range of nutritional supplements. Atrium will acquire Multicare for a total of $24.8 million. Of this total, $23.4 million will be paid in cash, and the remainder will be paid by the issuance of 81,128 newly issued Atrium common shares to Multicare’s president and chief executive officer.

Bangalore, India (Feb. 11)-Biocon will acquire a 70% stake in the German pharmaceutical company AxiCorp, a specialized marketing and distribution company, for €30 million ($44.2 million). This will enable the marketing and distribution of a range of pharmaceuticals including generics, biosimilars, biologics and innovative pharmaceutical products in Germany and Europe.

Oxford, England (Feb. 18)-EUSA Pharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company, made a deal with GlaxoSmithKline (London, GSK) to out-license the exclusive worldwide rights to its preclinical-stage human anti-interleukin-6 antibody. The agreement includes a consideration of up to $44 million, comprising an upfront fee and development milestones, plus royalties on future sales. EUSA will pay approximately 50% of the overall consideration for the antibody to its development partner, Vaccinex Inc. GSK will fund and conduct future development, production, and commercialization of the product.

London (Feb 19)-Intertek Group acquired CML Biotech, which comprises Commercial Microbiology Ltd., based in Aberdeen, United Kingdom, and its subsidiary Commercial Microbiology Inc., based in Houston, Texas. Since 1985, CML has provided technical consultancy and laboratory services related to the measurement and management of bacteria in the oil and gas industry. Services range from monitoring of microbial activity to consultancy in the area of microbial management and preventative strategies.

In other news, Intertek announced on February 12 that it acquired BioClin Research Laboratories (Athlone, Ireland), a supplier of contract bioanalysis and analytical research and development. The laboratory is good laboratory practice certified and is a good manufacturing practice facility.

Waltham, MA (Feb. 19)-Phase Forward, a provider of data-management solutions, will relocate the firm’s headquarters to 77 CityPoint in Waltham, Massachusetts. The building is the first speculative green building in the Boston suburbs to be awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Precertification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), an evaluator for green buildings. The building at 77 CityPoint is the first phase of Boston Properties’ $500-million planned urban center currently under construction in Waltham.

Lionville, PA (Feb. 13)-West Pharmaceutical Services concluded an agreement with Nektar Therapeutics (San Carlos, CA), relating to the manufacture and assembly of parts for the “Exubera” inhalable insulin device. Pfizer’s (New York) October 2007 decision to discontinue marketing the product caused the production of the device to stop, and the marketing rights were returned to Nektar. Under the new agreement, West will be reimbursed for facility, inventory, raw materials, and personnel costs. In order to assure Nektar of a reliable source of supply as it resolves its plans for the Exubera product, West has agreed to maintain its facility for a period of between 2–10 months. West expects to recognize an impairment charge of $12.9 million in line with its previously disclosed estimate of between $11.0 million and $13.1 million, in the fourth quarter of 2007 for its investment in the Nektar contract.

Seattle, WA (Feb. 14)-ZymoGenetics reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2007. The results for 2007, particularly the third and fourth quarters, reflect increased costs associated with preparation for launch of “Recothrom” Thrombin, topical (Recombinant) (also called rThrombin), which was launched in January 2008. For 2007, the company reported a net loss of $148.1 million, or $2.17 per share, compared to a net loss of $130.0 million, or $1.94 per share, for the prior year. The increase in net loss reflects not only the company’s costs associated with preparation for the Recothrom launch, but also the advancement of clinical stage product candidates. The company also announced that 80 positions have been eliminated from multiple departments throughout the organization; most were in research and development.

People Notes

Cambridge, MA (Feb. 13)-ARIAD Pharmaceuticals promoted Richard W. Pascoe to the new position of chief operating officer. Pascoe will be responsible for operating, new product planning, manufacturing, marketing and sales, and business development activities and will continue to report to Harvey J. Berger, chairman and chief executive officer. The duties of Timothy P. Clackson, PhD, ARIAD’s chief scientific officer, expanded to include all of research, preclinical development, and applied sciences.

Brisbane, CA (Feb. 14)-BiPar Sciences, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, appointed Hoyoung Huh, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer. Huh will commence his new role on March 3, 2008. Huh previously served as chief operating officer and head of the pegylation business unit at Nektar Therapeutics (San Carlos, CA).

Paris, France (Feb. 18)-Deinove, a biotechnology start-up, named Jacques Biton as chief executive officer. The company’s research program is focused on an industrial-scale bioethanol production process.

Princeton, NJ (Feb. 14)-Laureate Pharma, a biopharmaceutical development and protein production company, appointed Gary Swan as vice-president of operations. Swan will be responsible for leading Laureate’s manufacturing operations, which include upstream processing, downstream processing, formulation and filling, facilities maintenance, warehouse operations, and environmental, health and safety regulations.

Zurich, Switzerland (Feb. 14)-The head of Novartis’ pharmaceuticals business in North America, Alex Gorsky, is leaving the Swiss drug company to return to Johnson & Johnson. Gorsky will join Ethicon Inc., a unit of Johnson & Johnson, according to a company spokesman. Gorsky left Johnson & Johnson in 2004 for Novartis.

Toronto, Canada (Feb. 14)-Patheon appointed Terry Novak as president, North American operations and chief marketing officer, effective February 18, 2008. Novak will manage Patheon’s North American network of commercial manufacturing operations.

Madison, NJ (Feb. 15)-Wyeth Consumer Healthcare, a division of Wyeth, named Isma Benattia executive vice-president of global research and development, effective immediately. Benattia will lead the consumer division’s efforts to bring new products to market and manage the regulatory environment for Wyeth’s over-the-counter products.