PHARMACY

Watson founder Chao resigns from board

BY Drew Buono

CORONA, Calif. Watson Pharmaceuticals founder and chairman of the board Allen Chao resigned yesterday following the company’s annual stockholder meeting. He was also the company’s chief executive officer from 1985 until September 2007.

Andrew Turner, currently a Watson independent director, will succeed Chao as non-executive chairman. From 2003 until his appointment to the position of chairman, he served as the chairman of the company’s nominating and corporate governance committee, and from 1998 until his appointment to the position of chairman; he served as a member of the company’s audit committee.

“It is an honor to have been selected by the board to succeed Allen. His spirit and loyal guidance have helped to make Watson the company that it is today,” said Andrew Turner. “I look forward to serving in my new capacity as chairman, as we strive to build on the assets we have at Watson, increase value for shareholders, and ensure a rewarding workplace for our employees.”

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Ziopharm’s Palifosfamide receives orphan designation

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Ziopharm Oncology has received orphan drug approval from the Food and Drug Administration for Palifosfamide, for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma, according to published reports.

Ziopharm will receive seven years of exclusivity of marketing for the drug once it has been approved, as well as an accelerated review process, grant funding, tax benefits, and an exemption from other fees.

Ziopharm’s chief executive Jonathan Lewis said that the drug stands to bring in as much as $400 million in revenues annually in the U.S. alone once it is approved. “Developing drugs for rare diseases is going to become increasingly more important because more and more the way we define diseases is into smaller and smaller subsets,” said Lewis. “In addition, we are looking to develop this for other indications starting with sarcoma.”

The intravenous form of Palifosfamide is currently in phase II studies and the oral form is expected to enter Phase I studies in early 2009.

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Delhaize banners offer discounted generics

BY DSN STAFF

LAS VEGAS Shoppers at several supermarket chains in the eastern U.S. can buy hundreds of generic drugs at a discount.

Belgian food retailer Delhaize Group is offering a generic drug discount program at several of its U.S. chains, including Nashville, Ga.-based Harveys Supermarkets, Salisbury, N.C.-based Food Lion, Tampa, Fla.-based Sweetbay Supermarkets and Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Bros.

Participating stores offer 30-day and 90-day supplies of hundreds of generic drugs, though Harveys only offers 90-day supplies. Sweetbay offers more than 400 drugs, including the psychiatric drug haloperidol, thyroid hormone levothyroxine and respiratory drug albuterol, charging $4 for 30-day supplies and $10.99 for 90-day supplies.

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