Week of April 12, 2010: Company and People Notes: Cephalon Completes Acquisition of Mepha; Xcellerex Appoints President and CEO; and More.

April 15, 2010
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Cephalon Completes Acquisition of Mepha; Xcellerex Appoints President and CEO; and More.

Company Notes

International biopharmaceutical company Cephalon (Frazer, PA) completed its acquisition of Mepha (Switzerland), a privately held pharmaceutical company, for $615 million. Mepha specializes in dosage formulations and markets both generic and branded-generic products. Mepha manufactures and markets more than 120 products in 50 countries and reported 2009 sales of $380 million.

Biopharmaceutical company Crucell (Leiden, The Netherlands) signed a binding letter of agreement with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (London) to collaborate on developing a second-generation, malaria vaccine candidate. Under the terms of the agreement, Crucell will contribute its recombinant malaria vaccine candidate, Ad35-CS, based on Crucell's AdVac technology and PER.C6 manufacturing platform, and GSK will contribute its late-stage malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S/AS. Financial details were not disclosed.

CureDM (Wilmington, DE), a privately held biopharmaceutical company, signed an exclusive manufacturing and marketing agreement with sanofi-aventis (Paris) for its Pancreate, an islet neogenesis agent for the treatment of Type I and Type II diabetes. sanofi-aventis gains the rights to manufacture, develop, and market Pancreate (proisletide acetate). CureDM will receive an upfront cash payment and sales performance milestone payments totaling $335 million. CureDM is also eligible to receive increasing royalties on worldwide product sales.

Javelin Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, MA), a company providing technologies for new drug development and improved formulations of existing drugs, received a binding offer from specialty pharmaceutical company Hospira (Lake Forest, IL) to enter into a merger agreement, a loan and security agreement, and intellectual property security agreements. Under the terms of the agreement, Hospira will acquire all outstanding shares of Javelin at $2.20 per share and provide Javelin working capital from which Javelin may borrow up to $4.5 million to fund its operating activities prior to closing a merger with Hospira. Javelin will also receive $8.3 million for repayment of the principal and accrued interest incurred under a similar financing arrangement with Myriad Pharmaceuticals (Salt Lake City, UT). Javelin will also receive $4.4 million for its payment of the termination fee and certain stipulated expenses that it may be required to pay Myriad following termination of their merger agreement.

Penwest Pharmaceuticals (Patterson, NY), a drug-development company, signed a drug-development and marketing agreement with specialty generics company Alvogen (Parsippany, NJ). Penwest and Alvogen will select up to five compounds for generic development. Penwest's TIMERx technology may be used for each compound selected. Penwest will receive milestone and royalty payments based on the development of each compound. Alvogen will be responsible for manufacturing, clinical trials, and regulatory filings for each of the formulations, as well as marketing.

Rx-360, the international pharmaceutical supply-chain consortium, is calling for papers on best practices in supply-chain security. Visit their website for more information or email Rx-360@dbr.com.

Swagelok (Solon, OH) acquired the shares of RHPS B.V. (Nieuw-Vennep, The Netherlands), a manufacturer of high-quality pressure regulator products used mostly in oil and gas, chemical/petrochemical, alternative fuels, semiconductor, biopharmaceutical, and other demanding applications. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

People notes

Specialty generics company Alvogen (Parsippany, NJ) appointed Elin Gabriel as its COO, Kevin Bain as its CFO, and Svafa Gronfeldt as its chief organizational development officer.

Xcellerex (Marlborough, MA), which specializes in modular-biopharmaceutical manufacturing systems, appointed Guy Broadbent as its president and CEO. He succeeds Joseph Zakrzewski, who served as chairman, president, and CEO.

Metrics (Greenville, NC), a contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company, appointed W. David Varley as its director of manufacturing operations.