Company and People Notes: SAFC Biosciences to Collaborate With Celltrion, USP Names K.V. Surendra Nath VP of USP-India, More...

June 19, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Also, Patheon to expand Puerto Rico facility, Creabilis Therapeutics appoints Tony Wilson CEO, more...

Company Notes

Exeter, NH (June 12)-The board of directors of Bentley Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company, approved the spin-off of its drug delivery business into a new publicly traded company to be called CPEX Pharmaceuticals. CPEX is a drug-delivery company involved in the business of development, licensing, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products using validated drug-delivery technology. The Bentley board also set a meeting for July 22, 2008, for stockholders to vote on the proposed acquisition of Bentley by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

Holliston, MA (June 12)-Cold Chain Technologies, a supplier of temperature-control packaging and thermal testing, announced recent expansions: the opening of a new plant in Reno, Nevada, major expansions of its Massachusetts and Tennessee plants, and the doubling of its Massachusetts thermal testing facility. The company chose the locations of its plants to be near pharmaceutical distribution centers and logistics providers, according to Cold Chain President Larry Gordon.

Heerlen, The Netherlands (June 16)-DSM Biologics and Crucell (Leiden, The Netherlands) reported a breakthrough in the production of IgG antibodies using “PER.C6” technology: A record yield of over 27 g/L has been achieved. In March 2008 a yield of 15 grams per liter was announced.

Austin, TX (June 11)-The biopharmaceutical company Introgen Therapeutics formed Introgen Technical Services (ITS), which will provide contract production, process development, and manufacturing services. The company anticipates that ITS will supply Introgen's future product inventory needs for development-stage and future commercial products. The Texas A&M University System (College Station, TX) and Introgen announced an alliance to study process development and production of therapeutics, vaccines, delivery systems, and devices for human and veterinary applications for biopharmaceutical industry, academic research, and government clients, including the biodefense and public health sectors. The alliance will seek to enhance GMP capabilities at multiple sites in Texas and will initially include the use of Introgen's two GMP facilities in Houston, TX.

Toronto, Canada (June 11)-Patheon, a contract manufacturing organization, will expand its Manati, Puerto Rico, facility to add a dedicated high-potency and controlled-substance manufacturing area. Patheon will invest a total of $2.8 million in this new 3,386 ft2 area that will include three manufacturing suites, air lock containment areas, and humidity-controlled air systems. The construction project is expected to be completed by October 2008.

New York (June 18)-Pfizer has announced several collaborations with university programs this month. On June 10, the company announced a partnership with the University of California, San Francisco, designed to advance new drug discovery and development. The three-year agreement comprises research and other support up to $9.5 million. Corey Goodman, PhD, president of Pfizer’s Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center (BBC), will lead the partnership for the company. The BBC, a newly formed division of Pfizer, is a small business unit created to build the technology platforms expected to deliver a steady pipeline of biotherapeutics. On June 12, the company entered into a $15-million dollar collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA) in the areas of scientific research, clinical development, and clinical care and policy. Earlier this month, Rowan University (Glassboro, New Jersey ) announced that several of its  chemical engineering students have been working with Pfizer on a green chemistry initiative studying solvent recovery methods in the manufacturing process for the active pharmaceutical ingredient in “Celebrex” (celecoxib). The students will present their work next week at the The 12th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Washington, DC.

Lenexa, KS (June 16)-SAFC Biosciences, a provider of biopharmaceutical services, will collaborate with Celltrion (Incheon City, South Korea) a biopharmaceutical company and operator of Asia’s largest biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility, on a two-year project to study media optimization for large-scale cell culture processes used to manufacture biologically-active pharmaceutical ingredients. The companies view this collaboration as a prelude to a likely long-term supply agreement for cell culture reagents.

People News

South San Francisco, CA (June 16)-Anesiva, a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, named Michael L. Kranda president, chief executive officer, and a member of the board of directors, effective June 16, 2008. Kranda succeeds John P. McLaughlin, who resigned as chief executive officer and member of the Anesiva board but will remain a consultant to the company.

Ivrea, Italy (June 16)-Creabilis Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology, appointed Tony Wilson chief executive officer, effective immediately. Wilson brings more than 25 years of knowledge of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries combined with firsthand experience in the dermatology sector.

New York (June 16)-IRX Therapeutics, a privately held immunotherapy company, appointed Scott M. Freeman, MD, as chief operating officer. Freeman has been a senior medical advisor to IRX since 2007.

Blue Bell, PA (June 13)-The privately held pharmaceutical company Locus Pharmaceuticals appointed Jamie Freedman, MD, PhD, president and chief executive officer. Freedman joined Locus in January 2008 as chief medical officer and vice-president of clinical research and regulatory affairs. He will succeed H. Joseph Reiser, PhD, who is retiring but will remain on the board of directors.

The Woodlands, TX (June 17)-Opexa Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, appointed Neil K. Warma president and chief executive officer, effective June 16, 2008. Warma will also be a director nominee to the company’s board of directors at the next annual shareholders’ meeting.

Marseille, France (June 12)-Trophos, a biopharmaceutical company focused on neurological disorders, appointed Damian Marron chief executive officer, effective immediately. Marron was previously executive vice-president of corporate development at Nicox. He replaces Antoine Béret who is retiring and remains a member of the board of directors.

Rockville, MD (June 9)-The US Pharmacopeial (USP) Convention appointed K.V. Surendra Nath vice-president of USP India, which is located in Hyderabad, effective July 1, 2008. Nath originally joined USP-India as laboratory director in January 2006. In his new role, he will cultivate relationships with the Indian pharmaceutical industry, regulatory bodies, and research community; expand USP’s laboratory capabilities; promote scientific outreach and educational programs; and will be responsible for the growth of USP’s verification programs in India.