Week of Dec. 19, 2011: Boehringer Ingelheim Expands Manufacturing Presence in China; Amgen CEO Kevin W. Sharer Announces Retirement Plans; and More

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Boehringer Ingelheim Expands Manufacturing Presence in China; Amgen CEO Kevin W. Sharer Announces Retirement Plans; and More.

Company Notes

Amgen and the generic-drug pharmaceutical company Watson Pharmaceuticals have announced a collaboration to develop and commercialize, on a worldwide basis, several oncology antibody biosimilar medicines. Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will assume primary responsibility for developing, manufacturing, and initially commercializing the oncology antibody products. Watson will contribute up to $400 million in codevelopment costs over the course of development, including the provision of development support, and will share product development risks. In addition, Watson will contribute its expertise in the commercialization and the marketing of the products. The collaboration products are expected to be sold under a joint Amgen–Watson label. Watson will initially receive royalties and sales milestones from product revenues. The collaboration will not pursue biosimilars of Amgen’s proprietary products.

Boehringer Ingelheim has announced its plans to invest EUR 70 million ($91 million) to expand its manufacturing plant in the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in Shanghai into a supply center for China. The goal of this project is to bring more health to more patients and to continuously improve Boehringer Ingelheim’s product competitiveness and enlarge its market share.

ImmunoGen has entered into an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) collaboration with Eli Lilly. Under this agreement, Lilly will pay an upfront fee of $20 million for rights to take a limited number of exclusive licenses to use ImmunoGen’s maytansinoid targeted antibody payload technology with Lilly monoclonal antibodies to develop ADC anticancer therapeutics. Each license taken entitles ImmunoGen to receive milestone payments potentially totaling approximately $200 million and also royalties on the sales of any resulting products. ImmunoGen also is entitled to receive financial compensation for any research and/or manufacturing done on behalf of Lilly. Lilly is responsible for the development, manufacturing, and marketing of any products resulting from this agreement.

Sanofi has completed the divestiture of its dermatology business, Dermik, to Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company, for a total cash consideration of $422.5 million. The scope of the transaction includes Dermik assets, which consist of an aesthetic and therapeutic business in the United States and Canada, as well as an aesthetic business around the world. Also included in the transaction is Sanofi’s Laval, Canada, site, which includes Dermik’s manufacturing facility.


People Notes

AAIPharma Services, a provider of pharmaceutical product development services, has appointed Kevin Flanagan as vice-president of packaging services. He will oversee the company’s packaging and distribution functions at the Wilmington, North Carolina headquarters.

Kevin W. Sharer, chairman and CEO of Amgen since 2000, has announced his plan to retire from the company at the end of 2012. As part of the transitional process, Sharer will step down as CEO, effective May 23, 2012, and remain as chairman of the company’s board of directors until Dec. 31, 2012, at which time he will retire from the board and from the company. Robert Bradway, currently president and chief operating officer, will become CEO on May 23, 2012. The board is planning to elect Bradway as its chairman Sharer retires from that position at the end of 2012. The board will also elect a lead independent director at that time.

Roche has appointed Sophie Kornowski-Bonnet, currently general manager of Roche Pharma in France, as head of Roche Partnering, effective Feb. 1, 2012, and concurrently will join Roche’s enlarged corporate executive committee. She will report to Severin Schwan, CEO of the Roche Group. She will relocate to Roche’s headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and succeed Dan Zabrowski, who will take over the position as head of Roche Applied Science in the diagnostics division, located in Penzberg, Germany, as of Feb. 1, 2012. Zabrowski will be a member of the diagnostics leadership team and report to Daniel O’Day, chief operating officer of Roche Diagnostics.