Week of Jan. 9, 2012: Xoma Restructures; AAIPharma Appoints Eric Evans as CFO; and More

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Xoma Restructures; AAIPharma Appoints Eric Evans as CFO; and More.

Company Notes

Bayer HealthCare through its US Innovation Center plans to provide shared laboratory space for start-up companies with the opening of the CoLaborator, a 550-m2 (5920.150 ft2) shared laboratory for start-up life-sciences companies whose technology platforms, drug targets, or drug candidates align with Bayer’s portfolio. The CoLaborator is expected to house three or four small companies. Bayer plans to launch the facility by late summer 2012 at its Mission Bay, California, location. Read More

ShangPharma, a CRO, has opened a new facility for Eli Lilly. The newly opened facility adds 110,000 ft2 of laboratory and office space to the company’s overall capacity and will support Lilly’s ongoing and future projects. The opening of the facility coincides with the multiyear extension of ShangPharma’s contract with Lilly. Read More

Sigma-Aldrich has agreed to acquire BioReliance Holdings, a provider of biopharmaceutical testing services, from Avista Capital Partners for $350 million in cash. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearance, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. Read More

Xoma, a biotechnology company, has announced organizational and structural changes that are designed to reduce manufacturing costs as part of an overall cost-cutting effort. The company plans to reduce personnel by 84 positions, including 50 positions to be eliminated immediately and the remainder by the end of the first quarter of this year. The staff reductions result primarily from the company’s decisions to outsource its Phase III and commercial production operations to contract service providers. This reduction in fixed costs allows investment of a similar amount into gevokizumab's clinical development during 2012. Read More

In other news:

AAIPharma Services has acquired Celsis Analytical Services, a division of Celsis International.

Albany Molecular Research (AMRI) has entered into a preferred provider agreement with BioPontis Alliance.

AMRI will review its Hungary operations as part of a possible restructuring of its European operations.

Astellas and Theravance have terminated their license, development, and commercialization agreement for Vibativ (telavancin) for injection, a once-daily lipoglycopeptide antibiotic.

Biogen Idec and Isis Pharmaceuticals have formed a collaboration for an antisense drug.

Endo Pharmaceuticals and BioDelivery Sciences International have signed a licensing agreement for buprenorphine, a partial mu-opiate receptor agonist using bioerodible mucoadhesive technology.

Forma has formed a drug-development deal with Janssen Biotech focused on tumor metabolism.

Forma has also formed a drug-development pact with Boehringer Ingelheim focused on novel oncology drugs.

Gilead Sciences provides update on its acquisition of Pharmasset.


GlaxoSmithKline has exercised the option to license ChemoCentryx’s CCR1 inhibitor, CCX354, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Goodwin Biotechnology has signed an antibody manufacturing pact with OncoMax.

ICON has signed a partnership with Shire Specialty Pharmaceuticals to serve as its sole global provider of central laboratory services.

MonoSol Rx and Midatech have launched MidaSol Therapeutics, a joint venture focused on the commercialization of diabetes therapies.

Pfenex and ProZyme have entered into a joint collaboration and protein-supply agreement.

Recipharm will supply mangafodipir, a drug in clinical development by PledPharma.

Sanofi is coinvesting in Warp Drive Bio, a start-up biotechnology company focused on proprietary genomic technology to discover drugs of natural origin, along with two venture capital firms, Third Rock Ventures and Greylock Partners.

Sanofi also formed a $3.1-million alliance with the University of California at San Francisco for diabetes research.

Sanofi also formed a partnership with Foundation Medicine for potential diagnostics for select Sanofi oncology drugs.

Thermo Fisher Scientific introduces Unity Lab Services, product and laboratory services.

People Notes

AAIPharma has appointed Eric Evans as the company’s chief financial officer.

Almac has named Kevin Stephens finance director.