Monday, June 21, 2010

While You Were Calling the Old Man

A belated happy fathers day to all you dads out there, and a happy solstice to the rest of you. The news this weekend was largely confined to spills of oil and sports, but we've dug out a few noteworthy tidbits from this morning to get you started this week.

While you were diving/collapsing/going Gaga ...

  • Biovail and Valeant are merging. The nearly 50/50 transaction is a bit complicated but suffice to say the two specialty pharma companies will combine operations under the Valeant banner but with Biovail's corporate structure and HQ'd in Canada. Valeant investors (who will hold 49.5% of the newco) get a one-time payout of $16.77 per share plus 1.7809 shares of Biovail for each share of Valeant. Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson will become CEO of the newco while Biovail CEO Bill Wells will become chairman.
  • Affymax and Takeda released this morning their top-line Phase III results for Hematide -- all looks good except for the adjusted cardiovascular composite safety endpoint in non-dialysis patients in two of the four pivotal trials ...
  • Sosei is acquiring Japanese drug formulation company Activus for 500 million yen.
  • GSK has licensed rights to a topical lip-patch from Germany's Labtec GmbH for the treatment of cold sores.
  • And finally ... Exelixis has regained full development and commercialization rights to its Phase III MET/VEGFR2/RET inhibitor from partner Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. BMS entered a 50/50 dev-co arrangement for '184 as part of a deal signed in December 2008 that also included the Phase I cancer candidate XL281. Both drugs had been passed over by GSK when its broad option-alliance with Exelixis ended earlier that year. As part of this weekend's breakup BMS will pay Exelixis $17 million. There has been no major hiccup in '184's development, and the drug is in testing in more than a dozen tumor types. So what happened? As part of the 2008 agreement, goes Exelixis' statement, "BMS and Exelixis had originally agreed to certain clinical development plans, and Exelixis maintained key rights regarding timing and funding of current and future clinical trials. Given the recent progress of BMS’ wholly-owned oncology pipeline and positive data generated by XL184, Exelixis and BMS were not able to align on the scope, breadth and pace of the ongoing clinical development of XL184." The companies will continue to work together on other oncology candidates.

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