Company and People Notes: Wyeth to Build Manufacturing Facility in China, Argolyn Bioscience Appoints M. Nixon Ellis President and CEO, More

March 13, 2008
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Also, PDL BioPharma will no longer pursue sale of the company, executives resign from Topigen Pharmaceuticals, more...

Company Notes

Thousand Oaks, CA. (Mar. 6)-Amgen and Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. (Tokyo) entered a licensing agreement under which Amgen will receive an exclusive license to develop and commercialize Kyowa Hakko’s humanized monoclonal antibody KW-0761 worldwide, except in Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. Kyowa Hakko will retain rights in these countries. Amgen will make an upfront payment of $100 million and Kyowa Hakko could receive up to $420 million in additional payments, including development, approval and sales milestones. Kyowa Hakko will also be entitled to receive double-digit royalties on sales.

Loures, Portugal (Mar. 6)-Hovione purchased 75% of Hisyn Pharmaceutical. The acquisition includes both development labs in Shanghai and an active pharmaceutical ingredient plant occupying 22,000 m2 with 181 employees. Hovione’s relationship with Hisyn started with the supply of intermediates, but this facility will now produce Hovione’s two largest volume products.

Redwood City, CA (Mar. 4)-PDL BioPharma’s board of directors announced it will no longer pursue the sale of the company or of its biotechnology discovery and development assets. The company will remain independent and focus on the discovery and development of new antibodies for cancer and immunologic diseases. The company has planned, after a strategic review, to implement such actions as significantly cutting costs, continuing to search for a new chief executive officer, and reducing the workforce by about 260 positions in the next 12 months.

Princeton, NJ (Mar. 5)-Novo Nordisk will expand its US headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, to accommodate future growth. In the past five years, the company has experienced a 150% increase in employees at its US headquarters. The new building will have the capacity for more than 400 employees and feature an in-house training facility capable of training 100 employees simultaneously. The $20-million facility is expected to acquire Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The LEED Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of environmentally friendly and healthy commercial buildings.

Madison, NJ (Mar. 10)-Wyeth will invest $280 million to build a nutritional manufacturing facility in Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu Province, China. The new facility will primarily produce infant formula milk powder and other nutritional products that will primarily supply the local market. Construction at the site started this month, and the plant is scheduled to be operational by late 2010. Wyeth estimates the plant to employ about 500 employees.

People Notes

Durham, NC (Mar. 10)-Argolyn Bioscience, a biotechnology company, expanded its management team with the addition of two key executives: M. Nixon Ellis, PhD joined the company as president and chief executive officer and George Koszalka, PhD became the company’s chief development officer.

New York, (Mar. 5)-Bristol-Myers Squibb’s board of directors elected Jean-Marc Huet senior vice-president and chief financial officer, effective March 31, 2008. Andrew Bonfield, executive vice-president and CFO, will remain in that role throughout the end of the month and a period of transition. Bonfield will then leave the company to seek new career opportunities.

Pine Brook, NJ (Mar. 10)-Elusys Therapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, appointed Robert Gundel, PhD, vice-president of research. In this role, Gundel will lead Elusys’ research and development team and manage the company's research activities.

Chicago, IL (Mar. 10)-MonoGen appointed John P. Witkowski vice-president of operations. Witkowski previously held positions at Accellent as well as Stryker Orthopaedics.

Montreal (Mar. 5)-Topigen Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced that Paul K. Wotton, PhD, has resigned from his role as president, chief executive officer and director, and Patricia A. Lamothe has resigned from her role as chief financial officer. Both executives have left their positions at Topigen to pursue other opportunities.

King of Prussia, PA (Mar. 4)-Tunnell Consulting appointed Siddharth Advant, PhD, as head of its West Coast office, located in San Diego, California. Prior to joining Tunnell, Advant was a director for Diosynth Biotechnology.