PHARMACY

Former Senate leader Tom Daschle to address NACDS pharmacy event

BY Jim Frederick

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Former Senate majority leader and health reform advocate Tom Daschle will deliver the keynote address at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 12th Annual Pharmacy and Technology Conference in August, the organization announced Wednesday.

Daschle, a S.D. Democrat who lost his powerful seat in Congress in the 2004 elections, was President Obama’s pick to head the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services until his nomination was derailed early this year over allegations of tax evasion. Since his days in the Senate, he has been a strong advocate of universal healthcare coverage, healthcare reform and a larger role for pharmacy in the health system.

Daschle also co-authored a book titled Critical: What We Can Do About the Health Crisis, detailing his proposals to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system. Among those proposals: creation of a federal board to oversee the healthcare system, modeled after the Federal Reserve Board and “independent from politics,” according to the former lawmaker.

“Senator Daschle is a healthcare expert,” said NACDS president and CEO Steven Anderson. “Who better to address the value of pharmacy in the healthcare reform debate than a former United States Senate leader, close confidant to President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, and active healthcare reform power-player in Washington, D.C.? Senator Daschle certainly fits the bill.”

Daschle will speak at the event’s Sunday morning business program Aug. 9. The pharmacy conference will be held from Aug. 8 to 11 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

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GSK to develop inflammatory disease treatments with Chroma Therapeutics

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will collaborate with fellow British pharmaceutical company Chroma Therapeutics to develop treatments for such inflammatory diseases as rheumatoid arthritis.

GSK announced Tuesday that it would work with Chroma to use Chroma’s proprietary esterase-sensitive motif technology, which uses amino acid esters to make drugs target cells that cause inflammatory diseases.

Under the terms of the collaboration with GSK’s Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery, Chroma will seek to discover new pharmaceutical drugs in four discovery and development programs, receiving a “significant” up-front cash payment and an equity financing investment by GSK, as well as potential milestones, royalties and option fees, including possibly more than $1 billion in milestones.

“This agreement marks GSK’s continued efforts to access the best science and technology platforms worldwide,” GSK VP and head of the European CEEDD Shelagh Wilson stated.

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Takeda completes acquisition of IDM Pharma

BY Alaric DeArment

OSAKA, Japan Japanese drug maker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. completed its tender offer for a company that develops cancer drugs.

Takeda announced Tuesday that it had completed its tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of IDM Pharma for $2.64 per share, with about 86% of IDM shares tendered.

The two companies originally agreed to the acquisition in May, with Takeda showing particular interest in IDM’s malignant bone cancer drug Mepact (mifamurtide), which European regulators approved in March for marketing in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

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