PHARMACY

Gilead to shareholders: Say no to mini-tender offer by TRC

BY Allison Cerra

FOSTER CITY, Calif. — Drug maker Gilead acknowledged the receipt of an unsolicited mini-tender offer by TRC Capital.

Gilead said that TRC seeks to purchase up to 3 million shares of the company at a price of $37.25 per share, or about $111.75 million. The drug maker said it is recommending shareholders reject the bid, stating that the offer is priced below the current market price for Gilead shares and is subject to numerous conditions. As of March 2, TRC’s offer price represented approximately a 4.56% discount to the $39.03 closing price of Gilead common stock.

Mini-tender offers are designed to acquire less than 5% of a company’s outstanding shares, thereby avoiding many disclosure and procedural requirements of the Securities and Exchange Commission that apply to offers for more than 5% of a company’s outstanding shares.

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PHARMACY

GSK develops community pharmacy team

BY Allison Cerra

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — GlaxoSmithKline said it is establishing a dedicated team to support community pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.

Effective March 28, GSK said its community pharmacy liaisons will provide information and tools to help community pharmacists communicate with their patients about chronic diseases and the appropriate use of medicines and vaccines.

In developing the new team, the drug maker said it consulted with community pharmacists to better understand their needs and to ensure that the new team will provide a helpful service.

“Our research shows that community pharmacists want to spend more time engaging with their patients, and many patients would welcome more counseling about their medication,” said David Moules, GSK VP channel development and sales. “The GSK community pharmacy team will provide community pharmacists with education and tools to support those important patient conversations.”

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GSK, Tolerx’s late-stage trial for otelixizumab doesn’t meet endpoints

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A late-stage trial of a biologic treatment for Type 1 diabetes appears to have failed, according to results announced Friday.

GlaxoSmithKline and Tolerx said results of the 272-patient, phase-3 “DEFEND-1” study of otelixizumab indicated it did not preserve the function of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, as measured by levels of the protein C-peptide, which is used to measure the amount of insulin the body is producing. Patients received a single, eight-day intravenous course of the drug no more than 90 days after diagnosis. Pending review of the results of DEFEND-1, patient recruitment for a second study, “DEFEND-2,” has been suspended, the companies said.

“While we are disappointed in the DEFEND-1 results of otelixizumab, we remain committed to the development and commercialization of the candidates in our pipeline, each of which has a distinct mechanism and target for correcting abnormal immune responses,” Tolerx president and CEO Douglas Ringler said.

Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes, is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system destroys the pancreatic cells that produce insulin.

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