PHARMACY

Novo Nordisk announces Gruhn, Soeters to switch places

BY Adam Kraemer

PRINCETON, N.J. Leading diabetes company Novo Nordisk Tuesday announced the appointment of Jerzy Gruhn as president of Novo Nordisk Inc., the company’s U.S. affiliate, and senior vice president of Novo Nordisk North America.

Gruhn will replace Martin Soeters, who will take up the position as senior vice president of the European region, overseeing the company’s operations in 35 countries. Gruhn is currently vice president of the Eastern Europe region. The appointments will take effect on January 1, 2008.

“We are making these changes at a time when Novo Nordisk is doing well in both Europe and North America and are confident that we have the right leadership to secure our future growth in the two regions,” said Kare Schultz, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

“North America is not only the world’s largest diabetes market, but also a region populated by people passionate about stopping the diabetes epidemic here and around the world,” said Gruhn. “Novo Nordisk will continue to be a leader in changing diabetes by embracing a unique business model that allows us to be socially and environmentally responsible, while achieving fiscal growth to advance diabetes care.”

Martin Soeters has more than 27 years’ experience in Novo Nordisk in executive management, sales and marketing. Since he took over responsibility for the company’s operations in the North American region in 2000 he has grown annual sales from $500 million in 2000 to $2.1 billion in 2006.

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Hutchinson to join Renovo; Vernalis suffers his loss

BY Allison Cerra

BERKSHIRE, England Renovo has created a new position entitled chief medical officer and executive board director for John Hutchinson, the former developmental developed for Vernalis.

Renovo has just recently signed a deal with Shire to co-develop a new anti-scarring drug, Juvista. The deal could be worth as much as $825 million with sales estimated to generate as much as $4 billion per year.

Hutchinson leaves Vernalis at a difficult time, as the company is dealing with a decision from U.S. regulators to delay a decision on its menstrual migraine drug Frova for the second time.

Renovo said that they have offered Hutchinson equity stake in the company.

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Gene Logic to search for secondary paths for Merck pipeline

BY Drew Buono

GAITHERSBURG, Md. Gene Logic has entered into a drug repositioning and development agreement with Merck Serono, to seek other development paths for several of Merck Sereno’s drug candidates.

The drug candidates, which were discontinued or de-prioritized in clinical trials for reasons other than safety would give payments to Gene Logic based on success milestone and royalties, although these would be discounted to account for Merck Serono’s contribution.

If Gene Logic identifies a new potential therapeutic use that Merck Serono chooses not to develop, they can receive an exclusive license for the drug and would then pay Merck Serono royalty and success-based milestone payments.

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