PHARMACY

AstraZeneca announces exit of MedImmune ceo

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON The sudden departure of the chief executive officer of a company acquired last year by AstraZeneca has caused problems for the drug maker.

David Mott, chief executive officer of the American company MedImmune, plans to leave the company and the end of next month, AstraZeneca announced. Mott had visited the U.K. weeks ago, but made no indication at the time that he would leave. His contract required him to stay for a year.

“Under Dave Mott’s leadership, the team at MedImmune has built a unique capability to discover, develop and deliver innovative biologic treatments—an important element of AstraZeneca’s future strategy,” AstraZeneca chief executive officer David Brennan said.

AstraZeneca purchased MedImmune last summer for nearly $16 billion in attempt to expand its portfolio amid competition from generic drugs due to looming patent expirations.

Tony Zook, executive vice president of global marketing and chief executive of North American operations for AstraZeneca, will replace Mott until the company hires a permanent replacement.

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Study: pharmacist monitoring can help hypertension

BY Alaric DeArment

SEATTLE An experiment by the Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative has found that Web-based monitoring by pharmacists can help control hypertension.

It found that 56 percent of patients assigned home blood pressure monitoring, Web site training and Web-based pharmacist care experienced increases in control of blood pressure. Those who received the blood pressure monitoring and Web site training only did not experience a significant increase.

The study involved 778 patients ages 25 to 75 in three groups with uncontrolled essential hypertension and Internet access between June 2005 and December 2007.

Results of the study appeared in Wednesday’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genzyme, Isis complete license agreement for cholesterol drug

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Genzyme and Isis Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that they had finished a license and collaboration agreement for mipomersen, a drug candidate designed for patients with high cholesterol.

Under the agreement, Genzyme will pay Isis $175 million in licensing fees. Isis will contribute up to $175 million for development. After that, the two companies will share development costs. Isis may also receive up to $1.5 billion in commercial, development and regulatory milestone payments. Genzyme will have preferred access to future drugs that Isis develops for rare diseases and diseases affecting the central nervous system.

The companies will share profits for the drug, with Genzyme receiving 70 percent and Isis receiving 30 percent. They will split profits equally once revenues on mipomersen reach $2 billion. Genzyme will also be responsible for funding sales and marketing until revenues can cover them.

“Mipomersen is an innovative treatment that has the potential to change the standard of care for severely ill patients whose needs cannot be addressed by current cholesterol-lowering therapies,” said Henri A. Termeer, Genzyme’s chairman and chief executive officer.

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