PHARMACY

Pfizer, Taisho announce partnership to develop schizophrenia treatment

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK & TOKYO Pfizer and Taisho Pharmaceuticals have signed a definitive agreement to replace their letter of intent for the worldwide (excluding Japan) collaboration to research, develop and commercialize TS-032, a drug candidate for schizophrenia, as well as other central nervous system disorders that is currently in preclinical development.

Under the agreement, Taisho will receive an initial payment of $22 million from Pfizer. The company will also receive milestone payments related to progress of development, as well as royalties and milestone payments tied to sales if TS-032 is approved by regulatory authorities and launched.

“We are pleased to partner with Taisho in this important area of research. Schizophrenia is among the most chronic and disabling of mental health conditions and there still remains a significant need for novel treatment advances with improved efficacy and fewer side effects,” said Martin Mackay, president of Pfizer Global Research and Development. “Pfizer has a long-standing strength in developing and commercializing medications for the treatment of psychiatric illnesses, including Zoloft, Xanax and Geodon. This agreement highlights our commitment to pursue opportunities that align strategically with our key development priorities and strengthen our pipeline.”

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Pfizer eyes other large pharmaceutical companies for acquisitions

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer’s CEO said his company wants to expand its portfolio of acquired companies, and no company is too big, according to published reports.

Jeff Kindler told the Financial Times that the drug maker would consider purchasing a large stake in a major pharmaceutical company to increase its revenues. Some have speculated that this could mean a purchase of Amgen or Gilead Sciences or a merger with a larger company such as Bristol-Myers Squibb or Wyeth.

The company’s profits are in danger of falling in 2011, when the blockbuster anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) becomes open to generic competition. The drug has annual sales of about $13 billion.

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Escalon acquires Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings’ hematology division

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA A Philadelphia-area company that makes medical and diagnostic equipment has acquired a British in vitro diagnostics company’s hematology division.

Escalon Medical Corp., based in Wayne, Pa., acquired Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings’ hematology for $5.9 million Friday, according to published reports.

Neither company had posted a statement about the deal for the press on its Web site Monday.

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