Week of Apr. 30, 2012: AstraZeneca's CEO David Brennan to Retire; PRA, Amgen Reach New Biosimilar Agreement; and More

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AstraZeneca's CEO David Brennan To Retire; PRA, Amgen Reach New Biosimilar Agreement; and More.

Amgen will acquire 95.6% of shares in Mustafa Nevzat Pharmaceuticals (MN), a privately held Turkish pharmaceutical company, for an amount that values MN at $700 million. The all-cash transaction will expand Amgen’s presence in Turkey and the surrounding region, which are priority markets for Amgen. Read More

AstraZeneca has announced that CEO and Board Member David Brennan has decided to retire, effective June 1, 2012. The board has asked executive director and chief financial officer Simon Lowth to act as interim CEO from June 1 until a permanent successor is in place. Julie Brown, vice-president of the company’s group finance division, will become interim chief financial officer on the same date. AstraZeneca also announced today that Leif Johansson will succeed Louis Schweitzer as nonexecutive chairman on June 1—three months earlier than previously announced. Read More

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey has ruled in Merck & Co.’s favor in two jointly related patent-infringement lawsuits against Mylan Pharmaceuticals. In its decision, the court upheld Merck’s patent on Zetia (ezetimibe) and Vytorin (ezetimibe; simvastatin) and ruled that the patent was valid and enforceable. The court also issued an injunction blocking the approval of Mylan’s generic versions until the expiration of the patent. Mylan had been seeking FDA approval to sell generic versions of Zetia and Vytorin. In December 2009, Merck filed the lawsuit against Mylan regarding Mylan’s application to the FDA seeking prepatent expiration approval to sell a generic version of Vytorin. In June 2010, Merck filed a separate lawsuit against Mylan regarding Mylan’s application seeking prepatent approval to sell a generic version of Zetia. Read More

PRA, a CRO, has reached a new agreement with Amgen for a series of Phase III studies to develop several biosimilar drugs on a worldwide basis. It is intended that PRA will serve as the sole provider of CRO services for these studies. Amgen and PRA signed the agreement in April 2012. Under the new agreement, Amgen and PRA will work together to execute Phase III studies related to Amgen’s current biosimilar portfolio. The agreement is intended to govern the entire anticipated scope of Amgen’s global biosimilar portfolio. Read More


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