PHARMACY

3M licenses TLR compounds to Celldex for vaccine adjuvant development

BY Alaric DeArment

ST. PAUL, Minn. 3M Drug Delivery Systems will license its toll-like receptor agonist compounds to Celldex Therapeutics for an undisclosed sum under a licensing agreement announced Wednesday.

Celldex plans to use the TLR immune-response modifier compounds, for which 3M owns the patent, to develop new vaccine products. The licensing agreement is non-exclusive, and 3M will royalties and milestone payments in addition to the licensing fee.

3M’s TLR compounds, also known as TLR7 and TLR8 agonists, have shown promise as vaccine adjuvants. They are small, organically synthesized molecules whose size gives them an advantage over other TLR agonists. Some of 3M’s other TLR7 and TLR8 agonists can be attached to proteins to enhance the efficacy of vaccines.

3M Drug Delivery Systems is a division of 3M. Celldex Therapeutics is a wholly owned subsidiary of AVANT Immunotherapeutics.

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Florida e-prescribing organization releases registered vendor list

BY Alaric DeArment

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ePrescribe Florida, an organization that assists pharmacies in adopting electronic prescription systems, released a list of registered vendor solutions Tuesday.

Registered vendors made the list by meeting a set of e-prescribing and patient-safety criteria, such as alerting customers about potential interactions between drugs and allergies, as well as meeting Medicare electronic prescription standards. The list of 13 vendors includes H2H Solutions, iScribe, MedPlus, Misys Healthcare Systems and NextGen Healthcare.

ePrescribe Florida comprises various pharmacies, physicians, insurers, health-care improvement organizations and other organizations and professionals.

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Cephalon sues Watson over Fentora patent

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Drug maker Cephalon alleges that Watson infringed on its patent by developing a generic equivalent to its drug, Fentora.

Fentora (fentanyl citrate) is used to treat pain in cancer patients and received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in September 2006.

Watson applied for FDA approval of its generic version in April. In response, Cephalon filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on June 2, asserting that Watson had infringed on patents ‘604 and ‘590, both of which expire in 11 years.

Fentora recorded sales of $135 million in 2007.

The FDA has, however, granted approval for Watson’s application for a generic version of KV Pharmaceutical’s Micro-K Extencaps in 600 mg and 750 mg doses.

The company that is now Wyeth sold global rights and the trademark for Micro-K to KV for $36 million in 1999. Micro-K had sales of $80 between March 2007 and March 2008, according to IMS Health data.

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