Company and People Notes: Gilead Sciences to Acquire CV Therapeutics; DOR Biopharma Appoints Chief Medical Officer; More...

March 19, 2009
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Also, Genzyme receives warning letter; Mesa Laboratories appoints John J. Sullivan CEO and a member of the board of directors; more...

Company Notes

Developer Tower Investments (Woodland, CA) and the life sciences firm Burrill & Company (San Francisco, CA) announced a formal partnership to develop a 2,325-acre BioBusiness Park in Pine Island, Minnesota. The team is also addressing a private equity and venture capital fund to support development of new technologies emanating from Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota, and private entities, and to attract biotech/biomedical business to the state of Minnesota.

Gilead Sciences (Foster City, CA) and CV Therapeutics (Palo Alto, CA) signed a definitive agreement, under which Gilead will acquire CV Therapeutics for $20.00 per share in cash (approximately $1.4 billion) through a tender offer and second step merger. CV Therapeutics’ board of directors unanimously approved the transaction and recommended that its stockholders tender their shares. CV Therapeutics will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilead. Last month, CV Therapeutics rejected an unsolicited offer from Astellas Pharma (Tokyo) to acquire the company for $16 per share.

JLL Patheon Holdings (New York) presented an offer on Mar. 11, 2009 of $2 per share to acquire “any or all” of the outstanding restricted voting shares of Patheon (Toronto, Canada) that it does not already own. Patheon’s special committee of the board of directors advised shareholders that the unsolicited offer is “substantially undervalued, opportunistic and structurally coercive,” and that they should take no action regarding the offer until a formal evaluation and recommendation is made, according to a company press release. JLL first announced its intention to make an offer on Dec. 8, 2008.

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) and Genentech (South San Francisco, CA) signed a merger agreement under which Roche will acquire the outstanding publicly held interest in Genentech for $95.00 per share in cash, or a total payment of approximately $46.8 billion. The special committee of Genentech's board of directors has approved the agreement and recommends that shareholders tender their shares.

Royal DSM N.V. (Heerlen, The Netherlands), a life sciences and materials sciences company, announced that DSM Biomedical obtained an exclusive worldwide license for a drug and biologics delivery system developed by MediVas (San Diego, CA). DSM will integrate the system into its Trancerta drug-delivery platform. MediVas’ technology is based on a next generation set of polymers, exclusively licensed from Cornell University, that are biodegradable, biocompatible, and bioabsorbable. 

Synta Pharmaceuticals (Lexington, MA) announced a workforce reduction of approximately 90 positions, to a total of approximately 130 positions, allowing the company to operate with current cash reserves for approximately two more years without the need for additional equity financing.

The US Food and Drug Administration recently posted a warning letter on its website concerning Genzyme’s (Cambridge, MA) Allston, Massachusetts, facility. The Feb. 27, 2009, letter requests further information from Genzyme regarding its responses to an October 2008 FDA Form 483 issued for “significant deviations from current good manufacturing practice” in the manufacture of the certain products, bulk drug substances, and drug components, including Fabrazyme, Cerezyme, and Myozyme.

People Notes

Biogen Idec (Cambridge, MA), a biotechnology company, announced that Cecil B. Pickett will retire from his position of president of research and development, but will remain on the company’s board of directors. The company has initiated a search for a successor that will consider internal and external candidates.

DOR BioPharma (Ewing, NJ) appointed Brian L. Hamilton senior vice-president and chief medical officer. Hamilton has experience in the global development of topically active steroids as well as in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Hamilton will lead DOR's clinical affairs, with an emphasis on the execution of its confirmatory Phase III clinical trial of orBec (oral beclomethasone dipropionate or BDP) in the treatment of acute gastrointestinal GVHD.

INC Research (Raleigh, NC), a contract research organization, appointed Sharon Lynn Benoit principal strategist within its infectious disease division. Benoit will provide strategic and development consultation and lead INC Research’s virology teams on Phase I–IV trials.

Mesa Laboratories (Lakewood, CO), a supplier of instruments and consumables for quality-control applications, named John J. Sullivan chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors. He retains his position as president. Sullivan replaces Luke R. Schmieder, who has been the CEO since founding the company in 1982. Schmieder is retiring from Mesa and resigning his positions of CEO and treasurer, but will retain his position as chairman of the board of directors.

NuGEN Technologies (San Carlos, CA), a biotechnology company, appointed Erwin V. Estigarribia vice-president of operations. Estigarribia will lead manufacturing and quality initiatives and direct the company in achieving compliance with current good manufacturing practices by the end of 2009. He will report to CEO Elizabeth Hutt.