PHARMACY

Crucell recommends J&J bid to shareholders

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A few weeks after Johnson & Johnson announced it would purchase the remainder of Dutch biotech firm Crucell it doesn’t already own for about $2.4 billion, J&J received backing for the bid.

Crucell recommended the offer to the shareholders but not without receiving some criticism from shareholders Delta Lloyd Asset Management, Robeco and the Van Herk Group, which said the offer from J&J "undervalued" Crucell’s worth. The fund managers jointly control at least 15.5% of Crucell, according to Reuters.

 

"We would not tender our shares at this price. J&J gets a lot of value from this deal, given its client base and the sales potential involved. We consider this the starting point, Crucell’s management would need to convince us in the coming days [on the price]," Jack Jonk, head of equity at Delta Lloyd Asset Management, said.

 

 

 

J&J said it would benefit from Crucell’s expertise in vaccines and gain a “strong platform” in the vaccine market. The drug maker said it plans to keep Crucell as the center for vaccines in the conglomerate and maintain its headquarters in Leiden, Netherlands.

 

 

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FDA approves Par and Tris Pharma’s generic Tussionex

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic treatment for cough and upper respiratory symptoms resulting from colds and allergies made by Par Pharmaceutical and Tris Pharma, Par said Tuesday.

The FDA approved hydrocodone polistirex and chlorpheniramine polistirex extended-release oral suspension. The drug is a generic version of UCB’s Tussionex, which has annual sales of around $226 million, according to IMS Health.

 

“The introduction of this first-to-market generic product will improve patient access to a much-needed therapy,” Par EVP and president Paul Campanelli said. “Our partner, Tris Pharma, has once again leveraged its innovative drug-delivery platform to bring this important product market.”

 

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HGS, Novartis halt further development of Zalbin

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. Human Genome Sciences and Novartis have decided not to further develop an investigative biologic treatment for hepatitis C following the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to decline its approval, HGS said Tuesday.

 

HGS said it received a complete response letter from the FDA concerning the drug Zalbin (albinterferon alfa-2b). The FDA delivers a complete response letter to indicate that it has finished reviewing an application, but questions remain that preclude final approval.

 

 

HGS did not specify what the issues with the application were, but said it had expected to receive the letter.

 

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