PHARMACY

Amgen acquiring Micromet for $1.16 billion

BY Alaric DeArment

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Drug maker Amgen is acquiring a Rockville, Md.-based company developing therapies for cancer, the companies said Thursday.

Amgen announced plans to buy Micromet for $1.16 billion, or $11 per share. Micromet, originally founded in Germany, is developing blinatumomab, currently in phase-2 trials as a treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The acquisition also will include the company’s research and development center in Munich.

"The acquisition of Miromet is an opportunity to acquire an innovative oncology asset with global rights, and a validated technology platform with broad potential clinical applications," Amgen chairman and CEO Kevin Sharer said. "Blinatumomab will serve as an important complement to our oncology pipeline and is representative of our corporate strategy, which is focused on developing and successfully commercializing therapeutics to treat patients with grievous illnesses."

 


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PHARMACY

Pfizer, J&J subsidiary, charity group launch Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pfizer is partnering with a division of Johnson & Johnson and a charity organization to launch an initiative to award funding to projects designed to improve the diagnostic identification and tracking of Alzheimer’s disease.

The drug maker said it would work with Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, its partner on the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program, and a subsidiary of J&J and the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer Initiative to introduce the Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 at the Care Innovations Summit in Washington.

The initiative also will support the Department of Health and Human Services’ call to harness new thinking to deliver better care and better health at lower cost and provide a way to find new ways of thinking and approaches to improve care for people with the disease.

The initiative includes awards totaling $300,000, incorporating $25,000 to five finalists and $175,000 to one winner of the challenge.

 


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Medbox unveils new products for 2012

BY Alaric DeArment

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Medbox is introducing two new prescription drug vending machine systems in 2012, the company said Thursday.

Safe Storage Lockers provide a secure method of storing, exchanging and selling tangible items, the company said. The lockers include 120 individual boxes allowing the primary user to assign a code to a secondary user who can then access the box after biometric verification.

Meanwhile, the Medbox Rx allows pharmacists to load a customer’s medication into a lockbox for later retrieval. After registering, customers can return to the pharmacy at their convenience and, with the swipe of a card and the scanning of a fingerprint, retrieve their medications. The company called the Medbox Rx the world’s first patented prescription dispensing system to feature a biometric fingerprint recognition program to assure patient identity. The system also takes a photograph of each person conducting a transaction and keeps a record in order to prevent theft and fraud.


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