Company and People Notes: Merck Sells Facility to Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, Inflazyme Announces Senior Management Resignations, More

January 4, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Merck Sells Facility to Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, Inflazyme Announces Senior Management Resignations, More...

Company Notes

Paterson, NJ (Jan. 3)-Amneal Pharmaceuticals acquired a 30,000-ft2 liquid-form generic pharmaceuticals manufacturing plant in Branchburg, New Jersey, and intellectual property for 18 generic prescription products. The CGMP-compliant facility complements Amneal’s two existing facilities: the 40,000-ft2 oral solid pharmaceuticals plant in Paterson, NJ and its new 74,000-ft2 research and development center in Gujarat, India.

Amityville, NY (Dec. 31)-Hi-Tech Pharmacal signed a definitive agreement under which Hi-Tech acquired the assets of Midlothian Laboratories (Montgomery, AL) for $5 million in an all-cash transaction. Hi-Tech will pay approximately $0.9 million for inventory and potentially up to $1.0 million in performance incentives tied to future Midlothian product sales, and the approval of an ANDA. Midlothian had sales of approximately $5.6 million and pretax income of approximately $0.8 million for calendar 2006.

Irvine, CA (Dec. 31)-IDM Pharma announced that it expects to restructure and reduce its workforce after sanofi-aventis (Paris) ended its participation in the development of “UVIDEM,” the investigational therapy for the treatment of melanoma. All rights to the product reverted to IDM Pharma. The restructuring plan will be finalized in the first quarter of this year.

Philadelphia, PA (Jan. 1)-Merck & Co. (Whitehouse Station, NJ) sold its Cherokee chemical manufacturing plant in Riverside, Pennsylvania, to Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, a wholly owned subsidiary of PRWT Services. The Cherokee plant is an API manufacturing facility of products and antibiotics for humans and animals. All 400 employees at the plant will be offered jobs and are expected to transfer their employment from Merck to PRWT effective January 1, 2008. Cherokee entered into a five-year supply agreement with Merck for an estimated value of $100–200 million annually.

Chatsworth, CA (Dec. 31)-Plethico Pharmaceuticals (Mumbai) completed its acquisition of Natrol, a nutritional products company, in accordance with the merger agreement announced last month. Nearly 92 percent of the outstanding shares of Natrol were tendered and accepted for payment in the tender offer on December 27.

People Notes

Chicago (Dec. 31)-CytoCore, a biopharmaceutical company, appointed Augusto Ocana, MD, JD, as president of international operations.

Berlin (Jan. 2)-The biotech company Mologen appointed Dr. Matthias Schroff chief executive officer for three years, effective January 1, 2008. Schroff will manage the company with Joerg Petrass, chief financial officer.

Vancouver (Dec. 28)-Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals announced the departure of Dr. Kevin Mullane, president and chief executive officer; Dr. David Burgoyne, vice-president of business development; and Dr. John Langlands, senior director of clinical research effective January 1, 2008. The three resigned to pursue new opportunities. Total severance payments are expected to amount to approximately $900,000.

New York (Dec. 27)-Martin Sturgeon, interim chief financial officer of drug discovery and development company Avanir Pharmaceuticals, will resign from his position in early 2008.

Lincoln, RI (Dec. 26)-MultiCell Technologies, a biopharmaceutical company, announced that Stephen M. Chang, PhD, resigned as president and chief executive officer to pursue other interests. The company’s chairman, W. Gerald Newmin, will be interim president and CEO until the company identifies a permanent replacement.

Boston (Dec. 31)-Sepracor, maker of the insomnia drug “Lunesta,” announced that Timothy Barberich, its executive chairman and former chief executive, will retire by May 13, 2008.