Report: Abbott may sell off flu vaccine unit
NEW YORK Abbott Labs may sell off its flu vaccine business, according to published reports.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Abbott could make up to $614 million from the sale of the business, which it acquired when it bought out Belgium-based Solvay Pharmaceuticals.
Solvay’s vaccine Influvac, which it markets outside the United States, had $197 million in sales last year, according to Reuters. According to Solvay’s website, Influvac is a sub-unit vaccine, made from inactivated purified surface fragments from three strains of the influenza virus, and has been on the market since the early 1980s.
Former Johnson & Johnson head dies at 94
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. A former leader of one of the largest health conglomerates in the world died Friday at 94.
Richard Sellars rose from junior salesman to chairman of the board and CEO during a career that spanned 40 years at Johnson & Johnson. Sellars joined Johnson & Johnson’s sales force in 1939, and began a rapid rise within two of the company’s major affiliates, Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. and Ethicon. He became president of the company in 1970, and chairman of the board one year later. In 1973, he became chairman and CEO, a position he held until his retirement from that post in 1976. From then until his retirement in 1979, Sellars served as chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s finance committee. One of his many accomplishments while at Johnson & Johnson was being part of the New Brunswick Tomorrow project to revitalize the city that held the company’s headquarters.
“Richard Sellars was an inspirational leader who filled all who met him with a deep sense of the company’s responsibility to its customers, employees, community and shareholders,” said William Weldon, chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson. “He will be missed.”
Sellars is survived by his wife, Doris, four children, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Gilead to acquire CGI
FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences plans to acquire a development-stage pharmaceutical company for up to $120 million, Gilead said Friday.
Privately held CGI Pharmaceuticals has developed a library of drugs that have potential to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The majority of the $120 million will be an upfront payment, and the remaining will be based on clinical development progress, Gilead said.
“The acquisition of CGI represents a unique opportunity to expand our research efforts in an interesting and promising area of drug discovery,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said.