Week of Oct. 26, 2009: OXiGENE to Acquire VaxGen; Warner Chilcott Appoints Global R&D President; More...

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ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Also, Astellas and Medivation sign development pact; WuXi PharmaTech appoints VP of business development, more...

Company Notes
AnC Bio Inc. (Seoul, South Korea), announced its new subsidiary, AnC Bio VT, LLC, is currently raising money for a new $50-million facility in Orleans County, Vermont, that will create more than 200 new jobs. The facility will manufacture portable dialysis machines, cell-therapy machines, vaccines, and other biomedical supplies, as well as conduct research and development. The company expects the facility to open in 2011.

Astellas Pharma (Tokyo, Japan) and Medivation (San Francisco, CA) agreed to develop and commercialize MDV3100, Medivation's investigational drug for the treatment of prostate cancer. Medivation will receive an up-front cash payment of $110 million, and is eligible to receive payments of up to $655 million in milestone payments. The companies will jointly commercialize MDV3100 in the US and will share all US development and commercialization costs as well as profits.

BioStorage Technologies (Indianapolis, IN), a provider of biomaterials storage, management, and cold-chain logistics, will open a new 16,140-ft2 biorepository in Frankfurt, Germany. The facility will offer worldwide, industry-compliant logistics, supply-chain management, and will meet international customs and transportation and documentation regulations, according to a company press release.

Cephalon (Frazer, PA) and BioAssets Development Corporation (BDC, Wellesley, MA), a privately held biopharmaceutical company, signed an agreement that will provide Cephalon with an option to acquire BDC. Cephalon will pay BDC an upfront payment of $30 million and, assuming exercise of the option, an additional payment on the closing of the acquisition. Additional future regulatory and sales milestone payments could be made to BDC stockholders. The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals, as well as BDC stockholder approvals.

Hovione (Loures, Portugal) acquired an aseptic spray-drying production line, vial filling, and backup utilities from the specialty pharmaceutical company Acusphere (Boston, MA). The equipment includes sterile filtration, aseptic spray drying, secondary drying and vial filling, as well as terminal sterilization systems, lyophilization, water for injection and clean-steam production utilities.

Laureate Pharma (Princeton, NJ), a biopharmaceutical development and protein production company, signed a biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing agreement with an undisclosed client. Laureate will develop the process to manufacture a unique Fc fusion protein and produce this product under current good manufacturing practice conditions for use in clinical trials. Terms were not disclosed.

Malvern Instruments (Malvern, UK), a materials-characterization company, and Kaiser Optical Systems (Ann Arbor, MI), a supplier of Raman analyzers and components for spectroscopy, formed a development collaboration in which the companies will seek the involvement of potential customers at the final stages of product development and for beta evaluations later this year.Malvern will integrate Kaiser’s RamanRxn System analyzers and probes into its Morphologi platform, and the initial focus will be on pharmaceutical, life science, and forensic applications.

Micromeritics (Atlanta, GA) opened its new European headquarters located in the Avantis Science Park near Aachen, Germany. The new building features more than 500 m2 of floor space, and the company’s European materials analysis laboratory will operate from the facility.

Novavax (Rockville, MD) and Xcellerex (Marlborough, MA) signed a vaccine-manufacturing deal designed to speed the development of Novavax’s manufacturing process to commercial scale and begin immediate production of its 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine for potential commercial sale. Earlier this week, Novavax launched a two-stage, 4,000-patient clinical study of its H1N1 flu vaccine in Mexico to support registration in thatcountry. The companies will use Novavax’s virus-like particle vaccine technology to produce initial commercial quantities of H1N1 vaccine with Xcellerex’s FlexFactory biomanufacturing platform.

OXiGENE (South San Francisco, CA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on cancer and eye diseases, will acquire the biopharmaceutical company VaxGen (South San Francisco, California) for $33 million. The agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, and is subject to customary closing conditions. The companies expect the transaction to be completed in early 2010.


The European Commission approved the proposed acquisition of Schering-Plough (Kenilworth, NJ) by Merck (Whitehouse Station, NJ). After its investigation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

People Notes
Advaxis (North Brunswick, NJ), a biotechnology company developing proprietary Listeria monocytogenes cancer vaccines, appointed Christopher Duignan senior vice-president of finance. Duignan will work with Fredrick Cobb, CFO of Advaxis.

Cephalon (Frazer, PA) named Bob Repella senior vice-president of US pharmaceutical operations. Repella previously served as executive vice-president and general manager of the Biopharma Business Unit for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (Madison, NJ).

Jiangbo Pharmaceuticals (Laiyang, China) announced the resignation of Haibo Xu, the company's chief operating officer, for health reasons. Jiangbo initiated a search for a replacement candidate for COO. Xu will remain a member of the board of directors.

Lightlake Therapeutics (London), a drug-discovery company focused on obesity, appointed Roger Crystal as its CEO. Crystal will be based in the company’s London headquarters.

Medivation (San Francisco, CA) appointed Hank Mansbach vice-president of medical affairs. Mansbach will lead the company’s medical-affairs activities for dimebon (latrepirdine), a Phase III candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer's and Huntington diseases, and MDV3100, which is in Phase III clinical development for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Telormedix (Bioggio, Switzerland), a biopharmaceutical company, appointed Johanna Holldack as its CEO. Holldack previously held positions at Borean Pharma (Aarhus, Denmark), MediGene (Munich, Germany), and Chiron (Emeryville, CA). 

Warner Chilcott (Adree, Ireland) appointed Mahdi Fawzi president of global research and development. Fawzi previously held a position at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (Madison, NJ), where he was responsible for directing global preclinical development activities.

WuXi PharmaTech (Shanghai, China) appointed Hui Cai vice-president of business development. Cai will report directly to Richard M. Soll, senior vice-president of integrated services.