Dec. 28, 2006 Company Notes: Albemarle, Clinical Data, Crucell, Merck, PDA, QLT, Sanofi Pasteur, Shimadzu

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ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Dec. 28, 2006 Company Notes: Albemarle, Clinical Data, Crucell, Merck, PDA, QLT, Sanofi Pasteur, Shimadzu

Company Notes


Newton, MA (Dec. 22)—Clinical Data, Inc. ( completed the transfer of the manufacturing technology necessary to produce a commercial supply of vilazodone, its dual serotonergic antidepressant currently in Phase III clinical trials. The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Inc., acquired the rights to develop and commercialize vilazodone from Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany in September 2004. Under the terms of the license agreement, the company made a milestone payment to Merck for the transfer of the vilazodone manufacturing technology in Clinical Data Common Stock equivalent in value to €1.25 million Euros (approximately US$1.65 million). The company intends to conduct aspects of the manufacturing of the clinical development and commercial supply of vilazodone through a third party.
Leiden, Netherlands (Dec. 27)—Dutch biotechnology company Crucell N.V. ( signed a cross-licensing agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. ( In addition to previously licensed rights to “PER.C6,” the agreement enables Merck to use Crucell’s technology on an exclusive basis in additional undisclosed vaccine fields. In return, Crucell receives access to Merck's large-scale manufacturing technology for its “AdVac”-based vaccines.

Vancouver, BC (Dec. 22)—QLT Inc. ( is selling its US generic dermatology and manufacturing business (located in Fort Collins, Colorado, where it produces “Aczone” and “Eligard”) to Tolmar Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company. Michael R. Duncan, previously president of QLT USA, will become CEO of Tolmar.


Lyon, France, and Swiftwater, PA (Dec. 20)Sanofi Pasteur (, the vaccines business of Sanofi-Aventis, completed the production of more than 170 million doses of influenza vaccine in 2006, nearly half of the estimated global total of 350 million doses and “a record number” in the words of Sanofi-Aventis CEO Jean-François Dehecq.

Columbia, MD (Dec. 23)—Shimadzu Scientific Instruments ( announced its 2007 training schedule in environmental analysis, spectroscopy, chromatography, mass spectrometry, and test and measurement. Courses are held at the Customer Training and Education Center at Shimadzu’s Columbia, Maryland headquarters. Instructors use interactive teaching media to facilitate an understanding of hardware and application software. Additional information is available at


People Notes


Baton Rouge, LA (Dec. 20)—Specialty chemicals maker Albemarle Corporation ( announced new assignments for three members of its senior management team: John Nicols was named vice-president of catalysts; Ron Gardner was named vice-president of fine chemicals; and Tony Parnell was named vice-president of global sales, service, and operations planning.
Bethesda, MD (Dec. 19)—The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA, announced that two newly elected members will join the organization’s board of directors in 2007: Louise Johnson of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Martin Van Trieste of Amgen. The two new members join returning directors Rebecca Devine, PhD, an independent regulatory consultant, and Anders Vinther, PhD, of CMC Pharmaceuticals A/S. Johnson and Van Trieste succeed outgoing directors Jennie Allewell of Wyeth Research and Stephen Bellis of IVAX Pharmaceuticals UK.