Week of Oct. 31, 2011: Pfizer Completes Acquisition of Icagen; 3M Drug Delivery Systems Names James Ingebrand Vice-President and General Manager; and More

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Pfizer Completes Acquisition of Icagen; 3M Drug Delivery Systems Names James Ingebrand Vice-President and General Manager; and More.

Company Notes

AgonOx has entered into an exclusive global partnership with MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, to develop agonists using its OX40 platform. MedImmune will lead further preclinical and clinical studies of its tumor-specific T-cell immunity stimulator for the potential treatment of cancer. MedImmune will also support further OX40 research at Providence Cancer Center, where the foundational preclinical and clinical development of OX40 has been conducted.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Gilead Sciences have announced a licensing agreement for BMS to develop and commercialize a fixed-dose combination containing BMS’s protease inhibitor Reyataz (atazanavir sulfate) and Gilead’s cobicistat, a pharmacoenhancing agent that increases blood levels of certain HIV medicines to potentially allow for once-a-day dosing. Gilead conducting a study of atazanavir and cobicistat in Phase II and III studies for HIV-1 treatment-naïve patients.

Cobra Biologics, the biopharmaceutical manufacturing company has acquired the CMO Unitech Pharma Group and its bioproduction facility in Matfors, Sweden. Under the terms of the agreement, Cobra Biologics will acquire 100% of the shareholding in Unitech Pharma Group, which has a 600 L of clinical and commercial microbial GMP production capacity, and commercial aseptic fill–finish and lyophilization capability.

Lonza has announced a new development and manufacturing agreement with the biotechnology company Genmab. The agreement secures a development and cGMP manufacturing plan for Genmab to produce an antibody–drug conjugate (ADC) product targeting tissue factor (TF), a protein involved in tumor signaling and angiogenesis that is highly expressed on solid tumors. The project utilizes Lonza’s experts in both antibody production and drug conjugation, providing a harmonized solution for Genmab’s technology. Lonza will initiate process development and cGMP manufacturing for Genmab’s monoclonal antibody HuMax-TF in its Slough, United Kingdom, facility. The antibody has been expressed by Genmab in Lonza’s glutamine synthetase gene-expression system. The naked antibody will be conjugated by Lonza at its ADC plant in Visp, Switzerland, to a cytotoxic drug to form the antibody drug conjugate HuMax-TF.

Pfizer has completed its $56-million acquisition of the biopharmaceutical company Icagen by merging its wholly owned subsidiary, Eclipse Acquisition Corp., with and into Icagen. Under the transaction, Icagen has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer, and each issued and outstanding share of Icagen common stock has been converted into the right to receive $6.00 in cash.


ShangPharma, a CRO, has acquired the assets in the drug-development company Charles River Laboratories’s Shanghai, China, research facility, through its subsidiary Shanghai ChemPartner. Under the transaction, ShangPharma will take over Charles River’s lease for the facility, which will provide the company with an additional 2972 m2 (31,990 ft2) of in vivo research facilities originally designed for GLP toxicology studies, and 1290 m2 (13,885 ft2) of lab and office space.

People Notes

3M Drug Delivery Systems has appointed James Ingebrand as vice-president and general manager, following the retirement of his predecessor James Vaughn.

The CRO ICON has appointed Steve Cutler as group president of clinical research services. Cutler previously served as CEO of the CRO Kendle.