March 15 Notes: Avantium Expands R&D Facilities, BASF Enters Distribution Agreement with Lomas, Eisai Establishes Manufacturing Subsidiary in UK, more

March 15, 2007
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Avantium, Eisai, Generex, Lonza, more

Company Notes

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (March 2)-Avantium Technologies B.V. (www.avantium.com) will expand its research and development facilities in Amsterdam. The expansion will add 2500 square meters (27,000 sq. ft.) of laboratory and office space, more than doubling the company's current capacity. The expansion is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2008.

Florham Park, NJ (March 12)-BASF Corporation (www.basf.com/usa) entered into an agreement with L.V. Lomas Limited (Brampton, ON, Canada, www.lvlomas.com), whereby Lomas will act as an authorized distributor of BASF's pharmaceutical excipients in Canada. Lomas has been distributing BASF's nutritional ingredients in Canada since January 2007, and the companies have worked together for more than 10 years.

Santa Fe, NM (March 14)-CytoDyn, Inc. (www.cytodyn.com) chose the Waisman Clinical BioManufacturing Facility (www.waisman.wisc.edu/wcbf/design.html) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (www.wisc.edu) to manufacture its DNA-based pre-flu vaccine. The vaccine uses DNA technology to implant a false memory of previous exposure to the virus and could offer an alternative approach to immunization. CytoDyn hopes to have clinical trials of the vaccine underway by the end of the 2008 flu season.

Tokyo (March 5)-Eisai Co., Ltd. (www.eisai.co.jp) has established Eisai Manufacturing Ltd., a pharmaceutical-manufacturing subsidiary in Hatfield, United Kingdom. The subsidiary is the company's first manufacturing facility in Europe, and it will be the base for quality assurance and supply-chain management of Eisai's European operations. The operation is targeted for launch in 2008.

Toronto, ON, Canada (March 13)-Generex Biotechnology Corporation (www.generex.com) received two patents for its drug-delivery systems from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office. The Canadian patent covers a formulation in which a pharmaceutical agent is solubilized in a propellant, which can be administered buccally or into the lungs using a metered-dose spray applicator. The European patent is for pulmonary drug delivery and relates to a delivery system for the administration of large-molecule pharmaceuticals via an aerosol into the mouth.

Basel, Switzerland (Feb. 27)-Lonza (www.lonza.com) extended its existing supply agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (New York, NY, www.bms.com). Under the agreement, Lonza will continue to produce the active pharmaceutical ingredient for "Orencia," BMS's biologic agent for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, through 2013. The ingredient is manufactured at Lonza's facility in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Pasadena, CA (March 1)-Materia, Inc. (www.materia-inc.com) announced plans to collaborate with Peakdale Molecular Ltd. (Chapel-en-le-Frith, UK, www.peakdale.co.uk) to offer metathesis-based scaffolds for the pharmaceutical industry. The agreement gives Peakdale nonexclusive rights to use Materia's metathesis intellectual property portfolio for the design, development, and sale of the scaffolds for research. The partners will identify target compounds, which then will be produced and distributed by Peakdale. Both companies hope to introduce two new series of scaffolds by the end of 2007, with further series planned for 2008.

Princeton, NJ (March 5)-Novo Nordisk (www.novonordisk.com) has joined forces with the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS, Beijing, www.cas.ac.cn) to establish a joint research foundation in China. The Novo Nordisk–Chinese Academy of Science Research Foundation will fund or cofund activities within the fields of biopharmaceuticals, protein chemistry, immunology, toxicology, oncology, and drug delivery.

Kalamazoo, MI (March 6)-ProNAi Therapeutics, Inc. (www.pronai.com) will collaborate wtih Novosom AG (Halle, Germany, www.novosom.com) to enable successful delivery of DNAi-based cancer therapeutics. ProNAi will license Novosom's "Smarticles" liposome technology for use in all human diseases targeted by ProNAi's "PNT100" drug candidate. The agreement includes an upfront payment, milestone payments, and royalties.

Concord, OH (March 8)-Ricerca Biosciences (www.ricerca.com) completed a financial restructuring that includes new equity and term facilities totaling nearly $50 million. The company is implementing a multiyear business plan, which includes a $15-million investment to add chemistry and biological laboratories to its site in Concord.

Prague (March 5)-Zentiva N.V. (www.zentiva.cz) will acquire 75% of the issued share capital of Eczacibasi Generic Pharmaceuticals. The transaction totaled EUR 460 million ($608.3 million).

People Notes

Evry, France (March 12)-BioSystems International (www.biosys-intl.com) has appointed Jean Pierre Tirouflet CEO. He formerly was chairman and CEO of the specialty chemicals company Rhodia.

Foster City, CA (March 9)-Norbert W. Bischofberger, PhD, has been appointed executive vice-president of research and development of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (www.gilead.com). In addition, John F. Milligan, PhD, has been promoted to chief operating officer. Bischofberger and Milligan both joined the company in 1990.

San Francisco, CA (March 8)-Inventech has promoted Ian Fitzpatrick to manager of manufacturing innovation in North America. Fitzpatrick previously held a project management role at Inventech's Australian offices.

Rockville, MD (March 14)-James M. Robinson has been appointed vice-president of technical and quality operations for Novavax Inc. (www.novavax.com). Robinson joins Novavax from Sanofi Pasteur, where he was responsible for the company's sterile manufacturing operations.

Vancouver, BC, Canada (March 13)-Robert DuFresne has been appointed president and chief executive officer of Pacgen Biopharmaceuticals Corporation (www.pacgenbiopharm.com). DuFresne joins Pacgen from Zelos Therapeutics, Inc., where he was chief executive officer. He was also president and CEO of ConjuChem Inc.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ (March 7)-Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. (www.parpharm.com) promoted Paul V. Campanelli to president of its generics division. Campanelli joined the company in 2001, after holding positions at Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Inc., and Reddy-Cheminor, Inc.

San Carlos, CA (March 12)-Thomas L. Feldman has been appointed president, chief executive officer, and a member of the board of directors of POINT Biomedical Corp. (www.pointbio.com). Feldman was previously president and chief business officer at COTHERIX, Inc.

Gurgaon, India (March 11)-Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (www.ranbaxy.com) has appointed Himadri Sen president of research and development for generics and NDDS.