PHARMACY

Exelixis, Bristol-Myers Squibb team to develop cancer treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. A California biotech and a major pharmaceutical company will work together to develop a treatment for cancer.

Exelixis announced Monday that it would collaborate with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop the drug compound XL413, an inhibitor of the Cdc7 gene, following Bristol’s selection of the compound under the terms of a partnership the two companies formed in January 2007. In January of this year, Bristol opted to develop and commercialize XL139.

As a result of the selection, Exelixis will receive a milestone payment of $20 million from Bristol and also help to develop and commercialize XL413.

The two companies will each receive half of the profits generated by United States sales, while Exelixis will receive royalties on sales outside the United States.

“Our colleagues at Bristol-Myers Squibb have substantial expertise in developing and commercializing innovative cancer therapies, and we are excited to have another opportunity to work with them,” Exelixis president of research and development Michael Morrissey said in a statement.

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PHARMACY

King announces acquisition of Alpharma

BY Alaric DeArment

BRISTOL, Tenn. King Pharmaceuticals will acquire Alpharma in a deal worth $1.6 billion, King said Monday.

Alpharma had rejected a $33-per-share bid King made earlier, but accepted the most recent $37-per-share bid.

Alpharma, based in Bridgewater, N.J., has lately sought regulatory approval for painkillers designed to thwart abuse, such as Remoxy, a liquid capsule-based formulation of oxycodone.

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Viagra under investigation for effect on athletes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating whether the drug Viagra gives athletes a competitive advantage on the playing field.

The drug, known generically as sildenafil citrate and made by Pfizer, works by opening the blood vessels. According to published reports, some experts have said this could give athletes more endurance by increasing the bloodstreams ability to deliver oxygen.

If studies indicate that Viagra does give athletes an advantage, WADA will consider listing it as a performance-enhancing drug.

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