Lipitor patent extension for Pfizer – Patent pool for AIDS drugs set up – $1.4 billion deal for Arch Chemicals – And the biggest fertiliser plant in Africa (more…)

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Astellas sells off Prosidion patents – Syngenta investigates using bacteria to kill nematodes – And $4.5 billion in loans for CaTe thin film solar projects in California (more…)

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PHARMACEUTICAL: Advances for Aveo

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson has signed a licensing deal worth up to $555 million (£340 million) with Aveo Pharmaceuticals. (more…)

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PHARMACEUTICAL: Pfizer stock falls

A clinical trial assessing Pfizer’s oral drug tofacitinib as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has suffered a set-back in the form of four deaths. As a result, Pfizer shares have dropped almost four per cent.

According to Pfizer, investigators have confirmed that only one of the deaths was actually related to the drug with the patient suffering respiratory failure.

Other RA therapies on the market have also been linked to a higher risk of heart failure. So these deaths may not be a big set-back for tofacitinib, and it still may be approved for use. Indeed Pfizer is hoping that the success of tofacitinib will help overcome the loss of sales from generic competition to its top earner Lipitor. (more…)

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Berkshire Hathaway to acquire Lubrizol

Financial company, Berkshire Hathaway is to acquire 100 per cent of all outstanding shares in chemical company The Lubrizol Corporation for $135 (£84) per share in an all-cash transaction. (more…)

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Willetts discusses Pfizer and Sandwich

What does UK science minister David Willetts have to say about Pfizer’s decision to close its R&D site at Sandwich in the UK, a decision that has put 2400 jobs under threat? He’s been giving evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, which has launched an inquiry. A session that took place earlier this week involved representatives from Pfizer and the RSC. (more…)

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LyondellBasell completes sale of flavours and fragrances

US chemical company LyondellBasell has completed the sale of its flavours and fragrances unit to Pinova Holdings. LyondellBasell says the deal is going to generate $150 million (£97 million). The unit employs 200 staff at two sites in the US and produces terpene fragrance and flavour ingredients for the oral-care, confectionery and beverage markets. It will operate under the name Renessenz in the future. Pinova supplies wood and gum rosin and polyterpene resin speciality chemicals.

LyondellBasell is recovering from  a difficult time. It entered chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2009 when falling demand and failure to renegotiate debts forced it to seek protection. It exited in April, and in October it listed its shares on the New York Stock exchange.

Dey Pharma settles pricing allegations with $280m

US pharmaceutical company Dey Pharma has agreed to pay $280 million to settle allegations that the company: ‘engaged in a scheme to report false and inflated prices for numerous pharmaceutical products, knowing that federal health care programs relied on those reported prices to set payment rates’. The following drugs were allegedly affected: albuterol sulfate, albuterol MDI, cromolyn sodium and ipratropium bromide. (more…)

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New boss at Pfizer 

Ian Read

US drug giant Pfizer has a new boss at the helm. Jeff Kindler has unexpectedly retired from the company after four and a half years as chief executive, citing the demanding nature of the job. The vacancy has been filled by Ian Read, who from 2006 headed the biopharmaceutical businesses. ‘The combination of meeting the requirements of our many stakeholders around the world, and the 24-7 nature of my responsibilities, has made this period extremely demanding on me personally,’ said Kindler. ‘I am excited at the opportunity to recharge my batteries, spend some rare time with my family and prepare for the next challenge in my career.’ 

Brilinta news

Blood thinner BriIinta (ticagrelor) from pharma major AstraZeneca has been approved in Europe for the prevention of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events in patients with coronary problems. (more…)

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We’ve had a look at some of the financial results for the third quarter of 2010 already. Here’s the rest of the data. (All percentage changes are based on the same period last year.)

PHARMACEUTICAL

AstraZeneca made sales of $7.9 billion (£5 billion), a 4 per cent decrease. Operating income decreased 25 per cent to $2.4 billion.

Bayer made sales of €8.6 billion (£7.3 billion), a 16 per cent increase. Operating income decreased 14 per cent to €560 million. (more…)

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PHARMACEUTICAL 

Pfizer to divest Capsugel?

Pfizer has said it is ‘reviewing strategic alternatives’ for drug delivery unit Capsugel and raised the possibility of divestiture. In 2009, the unit generated sales of $740 million (£460 million). Pfizer expects to give the results of its review process by the end of the first quarter of 2011.

US approval for Kombiglyze XR

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted market approval to the combination diabetes candidate Kombiglyze XR (saxagliptin-metformin). The candidate, developed by AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb, is a combination of the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor saxagliptin, marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb as Onglyza, and metformin, a commonly used glucose lowering drug. Onglyza was approved in the US for type 2 diabetes in July 2009. It made sales of $85 million in the first nine months of this year. (more…)

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