Week of September 19, 2011: Bristol-Myers Squibb Completes Acquisition of Amira Pharmaceuticals; PPD Appoints Raymond H. Hill as CEO; and More

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Completes Acquisition of Amira Pharmaceuticals; PPD Appoints Raymond H. Hill as CEO; and More.

Company Notes

Berkshire Hathaway has completed the acquisition of the specialty-chemical company Lubrizol for $9.7 billion, including approximately $700 million in net debt. With the closing of this transaction, Lubrizol is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, and its international headquarters remain in Wickliffe, Ohio.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) announced today that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Amira Pharmaceuticals, a small-molecule pharmaceutical company. As a result of the transaction, Amira has become a wholly owned subsidiary of BMS.

The CDMO Catalent Pharma Solutions’ consumer health business has completed the first phase of a multimillion-dollar expansion of its facility in Aprilia, Italy. During the last 12 months, Catalent’s Aprilia site has been expanded to include a new gelatine-production area, and new encapsulation machinery has been added for the production of traditional gelatin and Vegicaps capsules. Catalent has also added processing equipment such as a new turbo emulsifier to replace open roll-milling equipment. Capacity within inspection and drying areas has been increased.

Jubilant HollisterStier Contract Manufacturing has announced that its Montreal-based facility has entered into a four-year contract to manufacture an over-the-counter, prescription-strength, women’s health treatment product with the total revenue being over $70 million during that time period.

The CMO Lonza and Pasteuria Bioscience have agreed to secure a process transfer and manufacturing plan to produce Pasteuria spores in Lonza’s biochemical plant in Kourim, Czech Republic. Lonza will initiate manufacture of Pasteuria spores, a biological nematicide, in its Kourim facility beginning in late 2011. The biological nematicide developed by Pasteuria Bioscience is based on the natural microbe, Pasteuria spp., found in soil and known to infect and kill harmful nematodes.

The CRO Pharmaron has formed a strategic partnership with Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, providing that Pharmaron’s new campus in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area (BDA) will serve as home to Merck Serono’s China R&D laboratory. The focus of this laboratory will be clinical bioanalysis and biomarker characterization, allowing for the identification of gene mutations among the Chinese population, early detection of disease processes, and the development of personalized medicines for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.


Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has signed an investment agreement for the construction of a manufacturing facility in Russia. The plant, which will be located within the pharmaceutical cluster in Yaroslavl, will be built in various phases. The first phase, for the manufacture of oral dosage-form products, is scheduled for completion by 2014.

In other news, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has signed a collaboration option to license and share purchase agreements to invest in Cocrystal Discovery (CDI), a biopharmaceutical company. This investment will be used by CDI to continue its development program of antiviral drugs that target viral replication enzymes. Currently, CDI is using its technologies to develop oral, once-a-day, broad-spectrum antivirals for the treatment of hepatitis C, influenza and rhinovirus (common cold). Under the terms of the agreement, Teva will initially invest $7.5 million in CDI, and the company will develop for Teva an antiviral drug targeting the polymerase enzyme of the hepatitis C virus. Upon completion of the initial development plan, Teva will have the option to make additional investments under certain milestones. Teva will have the right to exclusively license the drug for further development and commercialization under agreed-upon commercial terms.

People Notes

The CRO PPD’s board of directors has named Raymond H. Hill as CEO and elected him to the board, both effective Sept. 16, 2011. Hill was previously president of IMS Consulting Group, part of IMS Health, a provider of data, market research and consulting services to clients in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has appointed Trevor Mundel as president of the foundation’s Global Health Program. Mundel, who is currently global head of development for Novartis Pharma, will start work at the foundation on Dec. 1, 2011.