PHARMACY

Biogen Idec’s bid for Facet stalled

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Biotech company Biogen Idec said Tuesday that its $17.50-per-share offer to acquire Facet Biotech Corp. was its “best and final offer,” and that it would replace a majority of Facet’s board of directors if its shareholders tendered a majority of its shares before Biogen Idec’s tender offer expired and Facet’s board refused to “listen to the explicit wishes of its stockholders.”

Biogen Idec said that it would allow the tender offer to expire if the two conditions were not met. Bloomberg quoted an analyst as saying Biogen Idec would have to raise its offer to $22 a share in order to succeed in buying Facet.

Biogen Idec originally offered to acquire Facet for $14.50 per share in early September.

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Ranbaxy will not merge with Nippon Chemiphar

BY Alaric DeArment

GURGAON, India Indian generic drug maker Ranbaxy Labs has dissolved its joint venture with Japan’s Nippon Chemiphar. The dissolution gives Nippon Chemiphar full ownership of the venture, Nihon Pharmaceutical Industry Co.

The two companies had decided that it would serve their respective interests to develop their generic businesses independently, though Ranbaxy will continue to manufacture generic drugs for Nippon Chemiphar at its plants in India.

Japan is the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market and has been gradually opening up to generic drugs. In October, Sandoz launched Japan’s first biosimilar, a follow-on of Pfizer’s human growth hormone Genotropin (somatropin) already marketed in the United States, the European Union and Australia under the name Omnitrope.

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FDA approves generic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic version of a drug used to treat dementia related to Alzheimer’s disease, the agency announced Tuesday.

The FDA approved Philadelphia-based Mutual Pharmaceutical’s donepezil hydrochloride orally disintegrating tablets in the 5-mg and 10-mg strengths, a generic version of Eisai’s Aricept. While generic versions of Aricept already are available, the newly approved generic is a version that dissolves on the tongue, designed for patients who have difficulty swallowing.

“Generics offer greater access to health care for all Americans,” FDA Office of Generic Drugs director Gary Buehler said. “Healthcare professionals and consumers can be assured that FDA-approved generic drugs have met the same rigorous standards as the brand-name drug and are the same as the branded in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use.”

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