PHARMACY

Valeant withdraws acquisition offer for Ista

BY Allison Cerra

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it would not move forward in its pursuit of Ista Pharmaceuticals due to lack of progress.

The drug maker said it withdrew the acquisition offer of Ista, valued at $7.50 per share in cash. Valeant previously said that the offer would remain open until Jan. 31.

"As we stated last December, we were not interested in participating in a lengthy evaluation process and we are disappointed that the Ista team was not willing to fully explore our proposal by Jan. 31," Valeant chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said. "We continue to be disciplined on our [mergers and acquisitions] strategy and we are actively working on other opportunities that we believe can create value for our shareholders. We wish the Ista team well in their future endeavors."

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FDA approves Bydureon

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a long-acting injected diabetes drug made by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Alkermes, the two companies said.

The FDA approved Bydureon (exenatide), which the companies called the first once-weekly treatment for Type 2 diabetes. The drug will become available in February.

"With Bydureon, U.S. physicians can now choose a therapy that offers continuous blood sugar control in just one dose per week," University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill professor of medicine John Buse said in a statement on behalf of the companies. "New treatment options are essential for the millions of adults with Type 2 diabetes who continue to struggle to achieve optimal blood-sugar control."

Bydureon, an extended-release formulation of Byetta, was originally developed under an alliance between Amylin and Eli Lilly that started in 2002, but the two companies terminated the alliance in November 2011 after Lilly formed a diabetes partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim. The Lilly-BI partnership prompted a lawsuit from Amylin, though the companies agreed to settle it.


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Biogen Idec appoints EVP human resources

BY Allison Cerra

WESTON, Mass. — Biogen Idec has appointed a former Lenovo executive to serve as its EVP human resources.

Kenneth DiPietro brings more than 30 years of experience in both human resources and organizational development, including broad cultural transformation and corporate re-engineering, to his new role at Biogen Idec. He will lead the development and execution of the company’s global human resources strategy, including talent management, talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, and global human resources operations and systems, Biogen Idec said. DiPietro — who joins the company from Lenovo, where he served as SVP human resources — will report to Biogen Idec CEO George Scangos.

“I am thrilled to welcome Kenneth DiPietro to Biogen Idec,” Scangos said. “Culture is what separates a good company from a great company, and in Ken, we have a proven leader who I’m confident will foster and build upon our culture of excellence as we enter a period of great opportunity for Biogen Idec.”

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