PHARMACY

Winn-Dixie announces executive appointments

BY Drew Buono

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie has announced the hiring of John Fegan, Dan Tobin and Peter Thomas to its pharmacy, development and real estate departments, respectively, in a effort to assist in the company’s turnaround.

Fegan has filled the position of vice president of pharmacy. In this position, he will work at overseeing the day-to-day and strategic operations of the company’s 400 plus pharmacy locations. Fegan mastered his skills in various key positions at Ahold USA which runs pharmacy locations under the banners: American Drug Stores, Pay’n Save Drug Stores, Gray Drug and Osco Drug.

Tobin joined Winn-Dixie as vice president of development. Tobin’s responsibilities include new store design and remodel initiatives. Prior to joining Winn-Dixie, Tobin held key positions at Albertsons and later at Brinker International, where he oversaw construction activities for casual-dining chains such as Chili’s, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On The Border Grill & Cantina, and Maggiano’s Little Italy.

Thomas has assumed the title of vice president of real estate, is responsible for the development of the company’s new store capital and remodel initiatives. In this position he will work to increase market share within Winn-Dixie’s footprint. Thomas’ career includes time at well-known companies such as Big Y Foods, Purity Supreme Supermarkets, A&P, and McCarty-Holman Jitney Jungle.

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PTC, Genzyme ink $100 million development deal

BY Drew Buono

PLAINFIELD, N.J. PTC Therapeutics and Genzyme have agreed on a partnership deal that will help PTC develop its lead drug, PTC 124 for treatments like rare forms of cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, according to published reports.

Genzyme will pay PTC $100 million upfront and, in exchange, the company will get exclusive rights for the drug, which is currently in phase 2 clinical trials, outside the United Stated and Canada.

Also, under the terms of the deal, PTC will be responsible for finishing up four studies involving the drug. Afterward, the two companies will share research and development costs. PTC will also be eligible for additional fees up to $337 million from Genzyme based on regulatory progress and level of sales achieved by the PTC-124.

This announcement comes just one day after PTC received an award for $25 million for the same drug from the drug discovery branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

PTC-124 is designed for patients who have a genetic disorder caused by a nonsense mutation, which interrupt sequences in DNA coding.

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Teva to acquire Barr in $7 billion deal

BY Drew Buono

JERUSALEM Teva Pharmaceuticals today announced that it would buy rival generic manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth more than $7 billion, according to the Associated Press. The figure includes $1.5 billion of Barr’s debt.

The deal is expected to close at the end of this year and with that, Teva said it should bring $300 million in annual cost savings within three years and add to its profits within a year of the deal closing.

Teva is the number one generic company in the world, with sales of $9.4 billion while Barr was ranked number four with $2.5 billion in revenue.

Besides many popular generic contraceptives, Barr sells its brand-name Seasonique, which limits menstrual periods to four times per year. And it began selling a generic version of Bayer AG’s birth-control pill Yasmin in the U.S. in July. Barr also has the rights to sell a generic version of the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall XR starting April 1, 2009.

Together, the two companies have more than 500 products on the market, as well as more than 200 applications pending in the U.S. to sell generic versions of brand-name drugs with combined sales exceeding $120 billion a year. The combined company will have about 37,000 employees and operations in more than 60 countries.

The boards of both companies have approved the deal, but approval is still needed from Barr stockholders and various regulators in North America and Europe.

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