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Centocor Ortho Biotech acquires RespiVert

BY Alaric DeArment

HORSHAM, Pa. Johnson & Johnson’s biotech division said Tuesday that it had acquired a small company that develops inhaled pharmaceuticals for treating pulmonary diseases. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Centocor Ortho Biotech acquired RespiVert, a privately owned drug-discovery company. Centocor said RespiVert’s two leading drug candidates, RV-568 and RV-1088, had potential to be first-in-class treatments for cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma.

“The RespiVert compounds offer the potential for a new class of medicines for patients with severe lung disease who are insensitive to inhaled corticosteroids,” Centocor research and development global therapeutic area head for immunology Susan Dillon said. “The addition of RespiVert’s expert scientific team and discovery platforms for inhaled medicines strengthens our capabilities and further builds our pipeline of novel oral and biologic therapies for serious pulmonary diseases.”

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Crown Crafts acquires Bibsters product from P&G

BY Allison Cerra

GONZALES, La. Crown Crafts has acquired a disposable bib product from Procter & Gamble, the company announced last week.

Crown Crafts said its subsidiary Hamco now will manufacture and distribute Bibsters products, a disposable bib that provides coverage for infants and toddlers while feeding, which was introduced by P&G in 2003. Hamco also acquired the inventory associated with the Bibsters product line and plans to integrate the distribution of the Bibsters product line into the Company’s facilities in Compton, Calif.

“We are thrilled to find an opportunity that will complement last year’s acquisition of Neat Solutions by expanding our business in the disposable products category,” said E. Randall Chestnut, chairman, president and CEO.  “Hamco already has the overwhelming market share in reusable bibs, and we are confident that the Bibsters line of disposable bibs will solidify Hamco’s position as the overall leader in infant and toddler bibs.”

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FDA to review Orexigen’s obesity treatment

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO The Food and Drug Administration has accepted a new drug application from a biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of obesity.

Orexigen said its investigational obesity treatment Contrave (naltrexone SR/bupropion SR), which addresses both physiological and behavioral drivers of the disease, was accepted by the FDA, following its Contrave Obesity Research clinical program, which included more than 4,500 patients.

“We are pleased the FDA has accepted our NDA for filing and look forward to working with the agency during the review process,” said Michael Narachi, Orexigen president and CEO. “If approved, we believe Contrave will become an important therapeutic option for obese patients, making weight loss and weight maintenance an achievable cornerstone in the treatment of obesity and its common co-morbidities.”

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