January 25, 2007 Notes: General Electric and Abbott Enter Agreement, Affichem Selects SAFC Pharma for Services, More

January 25, 2007
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Abbott, SAFC Pharma, More

Company Notes

Fairfield, CN (Jan. 18)-General Electric Company (www.ge.com) and Abbott Laboratories (Abbott Park, www.abbott.com) entered into a definitive agreement for GE to acquire Abbott’s primary in vitro laboratory diagnostics businesses and Abbott Point-of-Care diagnostics business (formerly known as i-STAT) for $8.13 billion in cash. Abbott’s Molecular Diagnostics and Diabetes Care businesses are not part of the transaction and will remain part of Abbott.

Ramonville-Saint-Anne, France (Jan. 16)-French biotechnology company Affichem appointed SAFC Pharma (St. Louis, MO, www.sigmaaldrich.com/SAFC/Pharma.html) to provide chemical-development services relating a "Dendrogenine A," a potential cancer treatment. Dendrogenine A activates the cytotoxic-T response against tumors by stimulating monocyte differentiation into “dendritic-like” cells.
 
Wilmington, DE (Jan. 22)-AstraZeneca (www.astrazeneca.com) will invest $100 million to expand its Waltham, Massachusetts facility by 132,000 ft2 to boost infectious-disease and cancer research. The expanded facility will accommodate roughly 100 additional researchers who will join the more than 400 current discovery employees.

St. Petersburg, FL (Jan. 17)-Dermazone Solutions, Inc. (www.dermazonesolutions.com) introduced its new contract-manufacturing division, dermaCM (www.dermacm.com), and its topical pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical manufacturing and development facility. dermaCM will offer formulation, private labeling, manufacturing, packaging, and fulfillment services.

Mumbai, India (Jan. 12)-Nicholas Piramal India Limited (NPIL, www.nicholaspiramal.com) and Eli Lilly and Company (Indianapolis, IN, www.lilly.com) signed an agreement to develop and commercialize certain of Lilly’s preclinical drug candidates that span multiple therapeutic areas. NPIL will design and execute the global clinical-development program, including IND-enabling nonclinical studies and human clinical trials to Phase III.

Washington, DC (Jan. 18)-The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC, www.ftc.gov) cleared the way for Hospira, Inc. (Lake Forest, IL, www.hospira.com) to acquire Mayne Pharma Limited (Melbourne, Australia, www.maynepharma.com), a specialty injectable pharmaceuticals company, subject to the divestiture of certain overlapping products. The companies expect the transaction to be completed during the first week of February.

Zurich (Jan. 16)-Nycomed (www.nycomed.com) was officially launched as a combined group, following the acquisition of ALTANA Pharma AG, which was completed on Dec. 31, 2006. Nycomed now will establish a new corporate headquarters in Zurich, integrate the two companies, and maintain a high level of customer service.

Saugus, MA (Jan. 16)-Jeff Worthington, a pharmaceutical sensory analyst, launched Senopsys LLC (www.senopsys.com), a company that partners with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and drug-delivery companies to improve pharmaceuticals’ palatability. Senopsys uses proprietary sensory-assessment tools to review taste-masking challenges, measure flavor quality, and develop drugs that are palatable to patients.

Ravensburg, Germany (Jan. 23)-Vetter Pharma-Fertigung GmbH & Co. KG (www.vetter-pharma.com) received a manufacturing license for its new Ravensburg Vetter South plant. The automated production facility will provide single-chamber cartridges, dual-chamber syringes and cartridges, and fill liquid and lyophilized vials.

Shanghai, China (Jan. 16)-WuXi PharmaTech (www.pharmatechs.com), a provider of pharmaceutical research and development outsourcing services, began moving the first group of scientists to its new Tianjin research facility. The new facility complements the Shanghai research campus with 130,000 ft2 of laboratory space.

People Notes

Glen Rock, PA (Jan. 18)-Adhesives Research, Inc. (www.adhesivesresearch.com), a developer and manufacturer of high-performance pressure-sensitive adhesives, tapes, specialty coatings, films, and laminates, promoted Geoff Bennett to the position of president. Bennett succeeds Kären M. Olson, who was the company’s president and CEO for more than three years and will remain a member of the board of directors.

South San Francisco, CA (Jan. 22)-Cytokinetics, Inc. (www.cytokinetics.com) appointed James H. Sabry, MD, PhD, executive chairman of the board of directors. The company also promoted Robert I. Blum to the positions of CEO and director of the board. In addition, Cytokinetics's board named Mark McDade, CEO of PDL BioPharma, Inc. (Fremont, CA, www.pdl.com), as its lead director.

Teaneck, NJ (Jan. 24)-Eisai Inc. (www.eisai.com) hired Blair Tyson as senior manager of aseptic operations. Tyson recently served as operations manager for Eisai’s parenteral production facility in Raleigh, North Carolina. The company also promoted Nicole Merlo and Kim Van Iderstine to product manager.  

South San Francisco, CA (Jan. 17)-Genentech, Inc. (www.gene.com) promoted Markus Gemuend to senior vice-president of biochemical manufacturing, Sean A. Johnston to senior vice-president and general counsel, and Timothy L. Moore to senior vice-president of the global supply chain. The company also promoted Christopher Horan to vice-president of planning, distribution, and logistics.

Carlsbad, CA (Jan. 22)-Jeffrey M. Jonas, MD, will join Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (www.isispharm.com) on Feb. 1 as executive vice-president. Jonas will lead clinical development, preclinical development, regulatory affairs, and quality assurance and compliance at Isis.

Lexington, MA (Jan. 22)-The board of directors of NitroMed, Inc. (www.nitromed.com) elected Kenneth M. Bate president and CEO. Bate succeeds Jerry Karabelas, PhD, who will continue to serve as chairman of NitroMed's board.

Research Triangle Park, NC (Jan. 22)-President and CEO Leslie Alexandre resigned from The North Carolina Biotechnology Center (www.ncbiotech.org) to pursue new opportunities. Alexandre will continue working with the Biotechnology Center as needed until March 31 to facilitate a smooth transition.