Week of Mar. 14, 2011: Company and People Notes: Epizyme signs drug-development deal with Eisai; Greg Plowman Joins Eli Lilly; and More.

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Epizyme signs drug-development deal with Eisai; Greg Plowman Joins Eli Lilly; and More.

Company Notes

Eli Lilly and Company has made an irrevocable, unconditional offer to acquire the animal-health business of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, a Johnson & Johnson company. According to the agreement, Elanco, Eli Lilly's animal-health division, would acquire products, manufacturing licenses, distribution rights, and the existing contract portfolio, as well as the related intellectual property and marketing authorizations. Janssen animal-health employees would transfer to Elanco.

Specialty-pharmaceutical company PROLOR Biotech is relocating its corporate office and research and development facility to a new, larger building located in the Weizmann Science Park in Nes Ziona, Israel. The move is expected to be completed by April 15.

Dendreon Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company, has received FDA approval for the remainder of its New Jersey manufacturing facility, thus allowing the company to significantly increase the availability of PROVENGE (sipuleucel-T) to help meet the needs of patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate-resistant (i.e., hormone-refractory) prostate cancer.

Epizyme has formed a worldwide partnership with Eisai Tokyo to discover, develop, and commercialize therapeutics targeting EZH2, an epigenetic enzyme, for the treatment of lymphoma and other cancers in genetically-defined patients. Under the terms of the agreement, Epizyme will receive $6 million in upfront and initial milestone payments, and may earn more than $200 million in additional research, development, and sales milestones, and up to double-digit royalties. In addition, Eisai will fund 100% of research and development through human proof-of-concept, at which point Epizyme will have the right to opt into a profit share and cocommercialization arrangement for the United States.

FDA has accepted for review AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb's New Drug Application for dapagliflozin, an investigational compound for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for dapagliflozin has also been validated by the European Medicines Agency.

Amgen has signed an agreement with Pfizer to buy Pfizer’s manufacturing facility located at Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.


Grace Davison Discovery Sciences, a provider of separation services, opened a new technical-service knowledge center in southern India for customers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. The knowledge center will support Grace's customers in the areas of laboratory separations, bulk purification, excipients, and pharmaceutical intermediates.

People Notes

Eli Lilly and Company has appointed Greg Plowman as the vice-president of oncology research and senior vice-president of ImClone Systems research. In this new role based at ImClone's research center at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, New York, Plowman will oversee the oncology research efforts of both Lilly and its subsidiary, ImClone.

Labopharm, a specialty-pharmaceutical company, has selected Mark D'Souza, formerly the chief financial officer, as its new president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors. D'Souza replaces James Howard-Tripp as president and chief executive officer and Howard-Tripp as board member.

Sanofi-aventis has named Richard Klausner chairman of the strategic development and scientific advisory council, where he will work directly with Elias Zerhouni, president of global research and development. Klausner also will act as special scientific and strategic advisor to Christopher A. Viehbacher, chief executive officer.