Industry Briefs: March 11, 2013

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A roundup of additional company and people news from pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies, their suppliers, and contract-service providers.

Ajinomoto has agreed to acquire the CDMO Althea Technologies for approximately $175 million. The acquisition’s closing is expected to be complete in April 2013, at which point Althea will become a fully consolidated subsidiary of Ajinomoto. Read More

Catalent Pharma Solutions has announced two joint ventures in China for its Softgel Technologies and Clinical Supply Solutions businesses. The company intends to make additional investments in these two facilities over the next several years to broaden its offerings in the Chinese market. First, Catalent has agreed to acquire, pending regulatory approvals, a majority share in Haining-based, privately held Zhejiang Jiang Yuan Tang Biotechnology The business produces nutritional softgel products for Chinese and Asia Pacific markets, and employs 120 staff. Catalent intends to work with regulators for future expansion into OTC and prescription softgel manufacturing in China. In the second announcement, Catalent and ShangPharma, a China-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development outsourcing company, have formed a joint venture called Catalent (Shanghai) Clinical Trial Supplies. A new 31,000-ft2 facility in Shanghai (currently under construction) will be the first in China to provide end-to-end solutions for clinical-trial supplies, including comparator sourcing, primary and secondary packaging and labeling, and storage and distribution. Read More

The biotechnology company CoCo Therapeutics has appointed Steve Butcher as chief operating officer. Read More

Galapagos and Roche have agreed to end their alliance in fibrosis. Roche will make a payment of EUR 5.75 million ($7.47 million) to Galapagos for work completed in 2012, contributing to 2012 Group revenues. With the ending of the alliance, Galapagos has regained the worldwide rights to all fibrosis assays and the targets discovered in the alliance. These novel targets were identified in various unique human primary cell assays mimicking fibrosis. Galapagos will have received a total of EUR 16 million ($20.8 million) in upfront and milestone payments, including this latest payment. Read More (PDF)


The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) announced that three high-level regulators from the US and Europe will speak at the 2013 PDA/FDA Process Validation Workshop, May 20–21, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, Maryland. The speakers include: Jeffrey Baker, deputy director, office of biotechnology, CDER, FDA; Lina Ertle, quality assessor, ANSM (France); and Patrick Swann, deputy director, division of monoclonal antibodies, CDER, FDA. Read More

The Pittcon 2013 Exposition, which takes place Mar. 17–21, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will include more than 1000 exhibitors displaying products and services used by the scientific community in industrial, academic, and government labs. The exposition will offer the latest innovations in areas such as analytical chemistry; drug discovery; nanotechnology; life sciences to include forensics, genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics; food analysis and safety; environmental science; energy and fuel; and air, water, and wastewater analysis. Read More