PHARMACY

Biogen enters into agreement with Neurimmune for Alzheimer’s treatment

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and ZURICH, Switzerland Biogen and Neurimmune Therapeutics AG have entered into an agreement for the development and commercialization of novel, full human antibodies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The partnership will focus on the development of antibodies that bind to amyloid beta, a pathogenic molecule that causes some of the symptoms in Alzheimer patients.

Neurimmune will conduct research to identify potential therapeutic antibodies using the company’s Reverse Translational Medicine platform. Biogen will be responsible for the development and commercialization of all products. Neurimmune could receive a total of $380 million in upfront and success-based milestone payments, as well as a royalty on net sales of any products.

“Biogen Idec has the manufacturing, development and commercialization capabilities to leverage our discovery and technology expertise. With their extraordinary experience in the development of biopharmaceuticals as well as their deep history in neuroscience, Biogen Idec is the perfect partner for Neurimmune,” said Edward Stuart, chief executive officer of Neurimmune. “Our RTM platform is well suited to the identification of novel, safe immunotherapies for the treatment of human disease and we are particularly proud to have entered into this deal less than one year after the founding of the company.”

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Celgene to acquire Pharmion for $72/share

BY Drew Buono

SUMMIT, N.J. Celgene and Pharmion have announced a merger agreement, under which Celgene has agreed to acquire Pharmion. Celgene will acquire all of Pharmion’s outstanding shares of common stock for $72 per share payable in cash and share of Celgene common stock.

Under the agreement, Celgene will acquire the rights to three popular Pharmion oncology drugs: Revlimid, Thalomid, and Vidaza. Thalmoid and Revlimid are used to treat patients with multiple myeloma. Vidaza is used to treat myelodysplastic syndromes.

“The acquisition of Pharmion is an exceptional strategic fit that will expand our role as a leader in hematology and oncology,” said Sol Barer, chairman and chief executive officer of Celgene Corporation. “Our combined global infrastructure will leverage the therapeutic and commercial potential of Pharmion’s products, particularly Vidaza, which has the potential to become a major global therapy. By bringing together the talents and resources of both companies, we move closer to our vision of becoming a leading hematology and oncology company in the world, expanding our industry leading programs for safety, access and patient support.”

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RxHub introduces Rx 4 Success e-prescribing program

BY Drew Buono

ST. PAUL, Minn. RxHub, a company that keeps track of patient-specific medication history and pharmacy benefit information, has announced a new product for e-prescribing, the Rx 4 Success.

The new program was developed to target four main areas of e-prescribing: utilization of Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services approved ePrescribing transactions including eligibility, formulary and benefits, and medication history. The program will also integrate true electronic delivery of prescriptions to retail and mail order pharmacies. It will also keep consistent rules-based applications of clinical decision support content and formulate transactional data to support the development of outcomes based on pay-for-performance programs.

“We are extremely proud to be associated with our growing roster of partners which includes many of the healthcare industry’s foremost technology innovators,” stated Doug Johnson, vice president of business development for technology partners at RxHub. “Their collective vision not only helped shape Rx 4 Success but provides the foundation for ongoing market driven performance analysis and improvement.”

Rx 4 Success will become a participation requirement for technology partners connected to the RxHub network as of July 31, 2008.

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