Week of Mar. 21, 2011: Company and People Notes: ; Almac Forms an Alliance with Exco InTouch; Michael Pearson Joins Valeant; and More.

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Almac Forms an Alliance with Exco InTouch; Michael Pearson Joins Valeant; and More.

Company Notes

Almac’s Clinical Technologies business unit has formed an exclusive integrated patient management alliance with Exco InTouch. The alliance will be focused on the integration of both technology and processes by both firms to deliver patient management, compliance, retention, and ePRO service offerings to sponsors of clinical trials.

Almac, a contract development and manufacturing organization, has announced an investment in two ZED automated inline wallet presses in Craigavon and Pennsylvania to reduce timelines associated with the use of blister card packaging.

Boehringer Ingelheim has entered into a pact to provide MorphoSys with process development and additional manufacturing for its early clinical-stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia candidate MOR208 and other drugs. MOR208 is an in-licensed antibody currently undergoing Phase I evaluation in the US by MorphoSys’ partner Xencor.

Novartis has completed the transaction to acquire an 85% stake in the Chinese vaccines company Zhejiang Tianyuan Bio-Pharmaceutical. This acquisition provides Novartis with an expanded presence in the Chinese vaccines market and is expected to facilitate the introduction of additional Novartis vaccines into China.

Merck and sanofi-aventis have mutually terminated their agreement to form a new animal health joint venture by combining Merial, the animal health business of sanofi-aventis, with Intervet/Schering-Plough, Merck's animal health unit. As a result, each party will keep its current, separate animal health assets and businesses.

Eli Lilly and Company announced today that patients should not use the alcohol prep pads made by the Triad Group that are contained in the black starter kits for Forteo®[teriparatide (rDNA origin) injection] in the United States. The Triad Group is recalling the alcohol prep pads due to potential contamination with the bacteria, Bacillus cereus, which could result in life threatening infections, especially in at-risk populations, including immune suppressed and surgical patients.


Takeda's Millenium group has extended its ADC partnership with Seattle Genetics for the global development and commercialization of brentuximab vedotin (SGN-35).

People Notes

Synergy has appointed Dr. Laura Barrow vice-president of clinical operations. She will be responsible for guiding Synergy's clinical programs, including the Phase II/III study for plecanatide, the company's lead drug candidate.

Valeant has named Michael Pearson, currently Valeant's chief executive officer, as chairman of the board of directors, replacing Robert A. Ingram, who remains on the Valeant board as an independent board director and lead director. Pearson will continue in his role as CEO and has agreed to extend his contract through to February 2017.

Lithera has announced the the appointment of George W. Mahaffey as president and chief executive officer. Mahaffey will also join the Lithera board of directors.