Genzyme again rejects Sanofi buyout offer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The board of directors of Genzyme again has rejected a buyout offer by French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme said Thursday.
The biotech company’s board unanimously turned down the hostile offer Sanofi made Monday to acquire Genzyme for $18.5 billion, or $69 per share, saying it was “opportunistic” and undervalued the company.
Specifically, Genzyme said Sanofi’s offer failed to recognize its late-stage development pipeline, which includes three drugs it plans to launch by the end of 2013, including alemtuzumab, a therapy for multiple sclerosis that the company said was “potentially transformative” and had potential to capture a significant share of the global MS market after its 2012 launch. The company also has pursued a plan to cut costs and improve manufacturing and other operations, which it said Sanofi’s deal did not take into account.
Genzyme focuses on therapies to treat such rare, genetic diseases as Fabry disease and Gaucher disease, but shortages of drugs used to treat those diseases –– such as Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) and Cerezyme (imiglucerase) –– arose last year due to product contamination issues at Genzyme’s manufacturing plants.
If successful, Sanofi’s acquisition of Genzyme would be among the largest in the industry since the wave of high-priced buyouts last year in which Pfizer bought Wyeth, Merck bought Schering-Plough and Roche bought the remaining stock of Genentech that it didn’t already own. In all three cases, the main objective was to gain access to the acquired companies’ significant portfolios and pipelines of specialty drugs, particularly biologics.
Spherix’s Type 2 diabetes drug caused ‘significant drop’ in patients’ HbA1c levels
BETHESDA, Md. Relatively healthy patients with Type 2 diabetes experienced a significant reduction in blood-sugar levels when taking an investigational treatment for Type 2 diabetes made by Spherix, the biotechnology company said Thursday.
Spherix announced results of a phase-3 trial of D-tagatose, which showed that the drug was more effective in American patients than in Indian patients.
“These are promising results, and we are pleased with the significant drop in HbA1c levels among patients treated with D-tagatose,” Spherix CEO Claire Kruger said. “As a monotherapy in a patient population with mild disease, this achievement is even more compelling.”
Jimmy Johnson to be featured in new ExtenZe commercials
ENCINO, Calif. The InterMedia Group of Cos. on Wednesday announced that ExtenZe spokesman Jimmy Johnson, Fox NFL Sunday host and newest "Survivor" castaway, will participate in a new round of commercials that will relate stories of what some of his colleagues in sports and the broadcast booth have said to him since he joined up with ExtenZe.
And to top off the 30-minute spot, Johnson’s wife Rhonda Johnson makes an appearance with her own brand of repartee.
"Jimmy Johnson’s affable approach to endorsing this sensitive personal product has really given the ExtenZe campaign tremendous momentum in all media and communication channels, taking on a life of its own," stated Robert Yallen, CEO of the InterMedia Group of Cos. "Product awareness and sales have soared, and the credibility he brings to the table is undeniable. In this next series of ads, we’re simply capitalizing on the buzz and showing that ExtenZe is all about the fun."
In the commercial, the former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins coach notes that ExtenZe isn’t about "not being enough; it’s about maximizing what you already have." Johnson shares the screen with Mixed Martial Arts fighter Pat Mitetich and NASCAR driver Kevin Conway. Johnson and Conway kid about being pressed by everyone they meet for product samples.
ExtenZe was the leading direct TV commercial on television in 2009, according to Infomercial Monitoring Service rankings, InterMedia Group noted. ExtenZe, for which InterMedia’s subsidiary InterQuantum handles retail chain marketing and distribution, now is in Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and GNC. The product also scored No. 1 in sales in the mineral supplement category at retailers for the past 104 weeks, according to InfoScan Reviews, InterMedia Group added.
The new ExtenZe spots will air on ESPN, BET, Discovery, AMC, FX and Speed Networks, among others.