Week of Feb. 6, 2012: AstraZeneca Restructures; Catalent Completes Expansion in Italy; and More

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AstraZeneca Restructures; Catalent Completes Expansion in Italy; and More.

AstraZeneca has announced a restructuring program intended to deliver an estimated $1.6 billion in annual benefits by the end of 2014, at an estimated total cost of $2.1 billion. AstraZeneca expects that this restructuring program will affect approximately 7300 positions. Final estimates for program costs, benefits, and headcount impact in all areas of the business are subject to completion of applicable consultation processes. Approximate position reductions in specific departments are as follows: selling, general, and administrative: 3750; R&D: 2200, and operations: 1350. Read More

BASi, a provider of drug-discovery and development services, has opened a discovery center at its corporate headquarters in the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana The purpose-built facility is designed to provide pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with the information to evaluate new compounds in early-stage development. The facility has 4800-ft2 of dedicated research space and environmental systems to maintain and monitor laboratory conditions. Read More

Catalent Pharma Solutions has completed the expansion of its facility in Aprilia, Italy. This expansion features complete turnkey services, from product conceptualization, formulation, development, production, and packaging for prescription and over-the-counter products. The expansion also enhances Catalent’s European quality and analytical capabilities. Read More

Merck KGaA and the biotechnology company Threshold Pharmaceuticals have agreed to codevelop and commercialize TH-302, Threshold’s small-molecule hypoxia-targeted drug for treating advanced pancreatic cancer and first-line advanced soft tissue sarcoma, which is in Phase III development. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will receive co-development rights, and exclusive global commercialization rights and will provide Threshold an option to cocommercialize the therapeutic in the United States. In exchange, Threshold will receive an upfront payment of EUR 19 million ($25 million) and could receive up to EUR 26.5 million ($35 million) in additional development milestones during 2012. Threshold is also eligible to receive a EUR 15-million ($20 million) milestone payment based on positive results from its randomized Phase II trial in pancreatic cancer. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. Read More


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