July 19, 2007 Notes: Beijing Med-Pharm Acquires Stake in Sunstone, JHP Pharmaceuticals Buys King Pharmaceuticals Facility, More

July 19, 2007
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Beijing Med-Pharm acquires stake in Sunstone, JHP Pharmaceuticals buys King Pharmaceuticals facility, more

Company Notes

Thousand Oaks, CA (July 12)-Amgen’s board of directors authorized additional repurchases of as much as $5 billion in Amgen common stock. The company currently has $1.5 billion remaining under its previous stock repurchase authorization. The new authorization results from Amgen’s confidence in its long-term prospects.

Plymouth Meeting, PA (July 16)-Beijing Med-Pharm Corp. reached a definitive agreement to acquire a minority interest in Sunstone Pharmaceutical. Sunstone is a privately held manufacturer of primarily over-the-counter medicines with operations in Tangshan, China.

Birmingham, AL (July 16)-Centrix Pharmaceutical, a privately held developer and marketer of prescription and nonprescription pharmaceutical products, signed a manufacturing and supply agreement with Cedar Pharmaceuticals (Shreveport, LA) for “Northyx” (methimazole) oral tablets. Under the agreement, Centrix will sell and distribute four strengths, two of which (15 mg and 20 mg) have not been previously available. Cedar Pharmaceuticals manufactures and supplies Northyx.

Bristol, TN (July 16)-King Pharmaceuticals and JHP Pharmaceuticals (Saddle River, NJ) signed an asset-purchase agreement, whereby JHP will acquire King’s Rochester, Michigan sterile-manufacturing facility, some of King’s products that are manufactured there, and the related contract manufacturing business. The companies also entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement under which JHP will provide fill and finish support to King’s hemostatic product, “Thrombin-JMI” (thrombin, topical, bovine, USP).

Bagsvaerd, Denmark (July 18)-Novozymes will acquire Biocon’s (Bangalore, India) enzyme business for about DKK 551 million ($102 million), thus strengthening its position in India. Biocon is a leading Indian biotechnology company specializing in biopharmaceuticals, contract research, clinical research, and enzymes.

Leiden, Netherlands (July 13)-Biotech company Pharming Group NV announced that its facilities for manufacturing its “Rhucin” product successfully passed all inspections conducted by the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products(London). The agency determined that the facilities comply with good manufacturing practice standards for pharmaceutical production.

Boston (July 12)-Point Therapeutics reduced its work force from 33 employees to 8 employees during June and July to conserve its remaining cash balance. The total charge for this workforce reduction is approximately $260,000. The company will reduce its workforce further by replacing its employees with a variable consulting team. In addition, the company will move out of its current headquarters this month to a smaller, temporary suburban space.

Brisbane, CA (July 10)-Tercica entered into an agreement with Genentech (South San Francisco, CA) for the development, manufacture, and worldwide commercialization of two products containing Genentech’s recombinant human-growth hormone “Nutropin AQ” (somatropin (rDNA origin)) and Tercica’s recombinant insulin-like growth factor-1 “Increlex” (mecasermin (rDNA origin) injection) for the treatment of short stature, adult growth-hormone deficiency, and potentially other metabolic disorders. The Nutropin AQ and Increlex hormones were originally designed and formulated to be combined and administered as a single, daily injection.

People Notes

San Diego, CA (July 17)-Althea Technologies, a provider of technologies and services for pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, announced that Karen Daniels had become president of the company’s bioservices division. Daniels joins Althea’s management team as the company continues to expand capacity and capabilities, including commercial manufacturing operations.

Copenhagen (July 13)-Anders Hedegaard will assume the position of president and chief executive of Bavarian Nordic on August 1. Peter Wulff, the current chief executive, will become executive vice-president of business development. Hedegaard is presently executive vice-president in charge of business operations and marketing at ALK-Abello(Hørsholm, Denmark).

Edmonton, AB, Canada (July 17)-Biomira appointed Gary Christianson to the newly created position of chief operating officer. Christianson has more than 20 years of operational expertise in areas such as technical development, the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, facilities design and management, and personnel development.

Houston, TX (July 9)-Pharm-Olam International Ltd. named Sean Alan F.X. Reade vice-president of global regulatory affairs. Reade has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including positions at PPD (Wilmington, NC) and UCB (Brussels). Pharm-Olam is a multinational, full-service contract research organization to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

New Brunswick, NJ (July 12)-Xechem International appointed Dr. Robert Swift, a member of its board of directors, to the role of chairman and chief executive officer/president on an interim basis. Swift replaces Dr. Ramesh Pandey, who will continue to serve on the board of directors. Pandey relinquishes responsibility for the company’s day-to-day operations, but will play an advisory role with the company.