PHARMACY

CV Therapeutics’ board of directors rejects Astellas’ tender offer

BY Allison Cerra

PALO ALTO, Calif. The board of directors of CV Therapeutics announced Friday it has rejected Astellas’ tender offer of $16 per share.

CV Therapeutics’ determined that the offer “undervalues the company and is not in the best interests of its stockholders”, according to a release.

The announcement comes once day after Gilead Sciences announced it would acquire CV Therapeutics, making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilead. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.4 billion, with a tender offer of $20 per share.

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AstraZeneca’s collaboration with biotech co. extended

BY Alaric DeArment

BERKELEY, Calif. A collaboration between Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca and a U.S. biotech will be extended.

Dynavax Technologies Corp. announced Wednesday that it would extend the collaboration, which began in September 2006, until July 2010. Dynavax is eligible to receive up to $136 million in payments, as well as royalties.

Under the collaboration, the two companies are developing medicines for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The first drug candidate, AZD1419, is expected to enter phase 1 clinical studies in the second half of this year. The companies developed AZD1419 using Dynavax’s proprietary immunostimulatory sequences technology.

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HHS launches new federal office to coordinate Recovery Act spending

BY Jim Frederick

WASHINGTON Moving quickly to get ahead of a massive federal outlay spawned by the economic stimulus – and assure the orderly distribution of those funds – the Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of the Office of Recovery Act Coordination.

The new office, HHS announced late Wednesday, “will help ensure the timely, organized and transparent distribution of an estimated $137 billion in Recovery Act Funds,” and will be managed by the massive federal health department. It also could be seen as a bid to pre-empt any potential sniping from political opponents of the Obama Administration – or of the massive economic stimulus plan the White House proposed and signed into law.

“HHS is committed to moving quickly and carefully to distribute Recovery Act funds in an open and transparent manner,” said HHS spokeswoman Jenny Backus. “We have already worked to put more than $3 billion in Recovery Act funds into states, and the new Office of Recovery Act Coordination will enhance and streamline our efforts to get critical resources and potential new job opportunities to the American people during tough times.”

Dennis Williams, a 20-year agency veteran, will lead the new office and serve as HHS’ deputy assistant secretary for Recovery Act coordination.

As of March 11, HHS has distributed $3 billion in Recovery Act funds to support what the agency calls “a variety of policies and programs including Community Health Centers and Medicaid.”

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