Company and People Notes: Patheon and Solvias Form Alliance; AstraZeneca Appoints Rich Fante President of US Business; More...

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Also, BASi opens European office in Warwickshire, UK; Acusphere's Howard Bernstein Resigns; More...

Company Notes

San Jose, CA (Nov. 14)-AnaSpec established a new facility dedicated to peptide production that complies with good manufacturing practice (GMP). The new facility is adjacent to AnaSpec’s headquarters and provides 5000 ft2 of dedicated GMP space, including two Class 10,000 cleanrooms. AnaSpec produces GMP peptides in milligram to kilogram quantities.

West Lafayette, IN (Nov. 12)-Bioanalytical Systems (BASi), a provider of contract laboratory services and manufacturer of scientific instruments, opened its new European laboratory and office in Warwickshire, United Kingdom. The new 10,000-ft2 facility offers bioanalytical capability and provides access to BASi’s preclinical and pharmaceutical analysis services. BASi Europe distributes BASi instruments and equipment and provides support for customers and distributors throughout Europe.

Rockville, MD (Nov.18)-BioReliance concluded an agreement with Provecs Medical (Hamburg, Germany) for the production of investigational quantities of “Immunalon,” a novel therapeutic agent based on an adenovirus vector that stimulates an immunological response against tumor cells.

Mechelen, Belgium (Nov. 18)-Galapagos concluded collaboration agreements with Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany). The total value of the contracts for Galapagos is EUR 1.1 million over one year. Galapagos’s BioFocus DPI service division will provide “SoftFocus” compounds for Merck Serono’s drug-discovery programs. In a separate agreement, BioFocus DPI will perform medicinal-chemistry services on an undisclosed Merck Serono program. The latter agreement is an extension of a long-running collaboration that was last expanded in 2005.

Cambridge, MA (Nov. 17)-Genzyme and the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB, Trieste, Italy), a not-for-profit research and development organization, will collaborate to advance treatments for neglected diseases. The research agreement between Genzyme and ICGEB will initially focus on the development of new treatments for malaria. The research will take place in ICGEB’s laboratories in New Dehli, India, and in Genzyme’s facilities in Waltham, Massachusetts. Scientists from Genzyme and ICGEB will sometimes work in each other’s laboratories.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Nov. 14)-Patheon and Solvias (Basel) formed a global alliance to offer integrated development services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. This alliance combines Patheon’s formulation-development experience with Solvias’s preformulation and solid-state chemistry capabilities. The companies will provide early-development services such as active-ingredient characterization, salt selection and cocrystallization, polymorphism screening, solubility determination, excipient compatibility, and formulation.

Fairfax, VA (Nov. 17)-SRA International, a provider of technology and strategic consulting services and solutions to government organizations and commercial clients, won a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide laboratory support services to the Select Agent Program. Under the contract, SRA will continue to help CDC track the possession, use, and transfer of select agents (biological agents and toxins that could potentially threaten public health and safety if released into the environment) in the US. The company’s work includes certifying that proper biosafety and biosecurity measures are in place in laboratories, processing select agent-transfer requests, and tracking all shipments of select agents between registered facilities.

Menlo Park, CA (Nov. 18)-SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research and development organization, was awarded a $1,788,011 contract by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The award is a continuation of two previous NIDA contracts for which SRI has provided chemical analysis of synthetic peptides and related compounds, as well as drugs of abuse. Under the contract, SRI researchers will provide NIDA with purity, stability, and authenticity analysis of synthetic peptides and compounds in NIDA’s medications-development program.

People Notes

Watertown, MA (Nov. 17)-Howard Bernstein resigned from his position as Acusphere’s executive vice-president of research and development to pursue new opportunities. During Bernstein’s 14-year career with the company, he led the development of its lead product candidate, which is currently awaiting approval by the US Food and Drug Administration. Bernstein also was instrumental in the development of Acusphere’s core microsphere technology platform and in devising ways to apply that technology to potential new and existing drugs.

Cambridge, MA (Nov. 17)-Ascent Therapeutics completed its senior management team by appointing Frederick Jones president and chief executive officer and Stephen Hunt senior vice-president of discovery research. Ascent is an emerging biopharmaceutical company developing "Pepducin" lipopeptides, a novel class of G protein-coupled receptor modulators to treat serious illnesses.

Wilmington, DE (Nov. 18)-AstraZeneca appointed Rich Fante president of the company’s US business. Fante succeeds Tony Zook, whose role was expanded when he was named president of MedImmune (Gaithersburg, MD), AstraZeneca’s wholly owned biologics business. Fante previously served as AstraZeneca’s vice-president of brand strategy and portfolio operations. He led the development and execution of marketing strategies for all AstraZeneca brands in the US.

West Lafatyette, IN (Nov. 14)- Anthony S. Chilton is joining Bioanalytical Systems (BASi) as chief operating officer of scientific services, effective Dec. 1, 2008. Chilton will have responsibility for the scientific services provided to BASi’s customers from three locations in the US and one in the UK.

Houston, TX (Nov. 18)-CytoGenix’s board of directors appointed Lex M. Cowsert to the positions of president, chief executive officer (CEO), and director, effective immediately. Randy Moseley, who was serving as interim CEO, resigned from this position but will remain chairman of CytoGenix’s board and principal financial officer.