Reports: Billionaire investor seeks to push out Genzyme CEO
NEW YORK Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is trying to kick Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer off the company’s board of directors, according to published reports.
The New York Times reported this week that Icahn had filed a proxy statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying he wanted to replace four of the company’s executives, calling the company “broken.” The biotech manufacturer has recently faced manufacturing problems leading to shortages of two of its drugs.
On Thursday, Genzyme announced that it would buy back $2 billion worth of stock and also seek to offload its genetic testing, diagnostic products and pharmaceutical intermediates businesses by spinning them off, divestiture or management buyouts.
“Genetics and diagnostics are strong businesses that are both leaders in their fields,” Termeer said. “However, as we evaluated our company to create a mix of businesses that will delivery sustainable growth and stronger returns on invested capital, it became clear that these businesses do not fit within this strategy.”
CVS Caremark Charitable Trust supports flood relief efforts
WOONSOCKET, R.I. The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust is donating $100,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to support flood relief efforts in the southeastern United States, including the states of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.
In addition to the cash donation, the foundation is donating more than $13,000 in food and personal care items to the Seventh Day Adventist Center in Albertville, Ala., and the American Red Cross in Nashville. The donated product will be distributed to flood victims in these local communities.
“The Red Cross has implemented a coordinated effort to assist victims of these devastating floods and we are committed to supporting their efforts across the states that are impacted,” stated Eileen Howard Dunn, VP of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust. “It is our hope that these funds will help these communities recover as quickly as possible.”
Keryx enrolls patients in Zerenex trial
NEW YORK Keryx Biopharmaceuticals has started a late-stage clinical trial of a drug for patients on kidney dialysis, the drug maker said Thursday.
Keryx plans to enroll around 150 people for a phase 3 trial of Zerenex (ferric citrate), a treatment for patients on kidney dialysis with elevated serum phosphorous levels, also known as hyperphosphatemia. The company started the short-term efficacy study Thursday and plans to start the long-term safety and efficacy study in third quarter 2010.
“I am pleased to be leading the registration program for Zerenex,” study chairwoman and Vanderbilt University medicine professor Julia Lewis said. “The clinical data generated to date suggests that Zerenex is an effective, safe and well-tolerated phosphate binder which we expect is differentiated form other marketed therapies by its iron composition and potential dosing convenience.”