PHARMACY

Ethsiphere names Danny Wegman to top 100 most influential in ethics

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Ethisphere Magazine on Monday named Danny Wegman to its 2008 list of the ‘100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.’ The reason for his selection, according to the article, was the decision to stop selling cigarettes early last year. They also wrote: “Wegmans continues to use their moral compass to influence their business decisions.”

To develop the list, the magazine reached out to business school professors from around the world to assemble an advisory board.  The advisory board worked with Ethisphere editors and writers to come with “100 individuals from around the world that greatly influenced the business ethics realm over the past year.” In 2007, Ethisphere also named Wegmans to its list of the ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies.’

“With daily headlines reporting scandals and failures, it is sometimes easy to overlook who is standing up for ethical business practices every day,” said Stefan Linssen, publisher of Ethisphere Magazine. “Each year, we recognize those standout leaders who stepped up and made difficult choices to better the business ethics operating environment for their employees, their constituents, the environment and everyone around them. I’m pleased to welcome Danny Wegman to this exclusive group.”

The list appears in the magazine’s 4th Quarter 2008 issue.

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GSK completes acquisition of Stiefel

BY Allison Cerra

LONDON A drug maker has announced it has completed the acquisition of a company specializing in skin care.

GlaxoSmithKline announced that it has completed its acquisition of Stiefel Labs. GSK has acquired the total share capital of Stiefel for a cash consideration of $2.9 billion. GSK also assumed $0.4 billion of net debt. Under the terms of the agreement, GSK may be obligated to make additional cash payments of up to $0.3 billion depending on the future performance of the business. The new dermatology business unit within GSK will operate under the name Stiefel, a GSK company.

“The Stiefel acquisition demonstrates how we are implementing our strategy to grow and diversify our business through targeted acquisitions,” Deirdre Connelly, president North American Pharmaceuticals at GSK. “We now have established a new world-leading, specialist dermatology business that will immediately generate new revenue flows to GSK.”

Charles Stiefel, Chairman of Stiefel, said, “As part of GSK, we are stronger, more competitive and continue to be a driving force in dermatology around the world. We are excited to combine GSK’s prescription dermatology products, such as Bactroban, Cutivate and Altabax, with Stiefel’s portfolio, including brands such as Duac, Olux E and Soriatane. This combined portfolio, together with our specialty sales force and GSK’s global presence, positions GSK’s dermatology business for significant growth.”

Sales of Stiefel’s products for 2008 were approximately $900 million and sales of GSK’s prescription dermatology products were approximately $550 million. The combined pro forma revenues of approximately $1.5 billion, represent an 8% share of the global prescription dermatology market.

Stiefel is committed to improving and developing new treatments and has a robust development pipeline, with more than 15 projects in late-stage development across a wide variety of such dermatological conditions as acne, dermatoses and fungal infection. The business unit also has access to significant innovative and proprietary formulation technologies.

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Trial for MS drug should continue, company’s DSMB says

BY Alaric DeArment

EDMONTON, Alberta An independent data safety monitoring board has recommended that a phase 3 trial for a multiple sclerosis drug continue.

BioMS Medical Corp. announced Tuesday that the DSMB for its pivotal phase 3 trial of the drug dirucotide in patients with secondary progressive MS has completed its safety analysis and recommended the continuation. This was the fourth of several regularly scheduled reviews by the DSMB, BioMS said.

The study is a randomized, double-blind study that has completed recruitment of more than 500 patients at 67 clinical sites who will receive either dirucotide or placebo intravenously every six months for the next two years.

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