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POSTED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 11:16 AM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech
AmerisourceBergen, a pharmaceutical wholesaler, signed long-term deals to supply Walgreen Co. and Alliance Boots GmbH. (George Widman / AP)

Shares of AmerisourceBergen Corp. were up 7 percent Tuesday morning after the pharmaceutical wholesaler signed long-term deals to supply Walgreen Co. and Alliance Boots GmbH.

The agreement calls for the two pharmacy chains to acquire a minority stake of up to 7 percent in the Chesterbrook-based AmerisourceBergen.

AmerisourceBergen's gain is apparently rival Cardinal Health Inc.'s loss. The Dublin, Ohio-based wholesaler said its contract with Walgreens will not be renewed when it expires in August. Shares of Cardinal Health fell about 7 percent.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 5:33 PM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

More than a year after receiving regulatory approval for its first drug, Discovery Laboratories Inc. still has not launched Surfaxin, a treatment to prevent a respiratory illness that affects premature infants.

The Warrington biotechnology firm now says it expects to begin selling Surfaxin to hospitals during the second quarter after delaying the launch last October. The company said the delay was related to one of the analytical chemistry methods used to assess how the synthetic drug conforms to its product specifications.

The only hurdle now is obtaining confirmation from the Food & Drug Administration for the updated product specifications, according to the company.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 3:00 AM
Filed Under: Manufacturing

Any time the military decides to close an installation, two things are sure: It will take a long time before the lights go out, and even longer for the site to find a new use.

In Philadelphia, the former Navy Yard is being transformed into a business hub. In February, city officials celebrated that 10,000 jobs and 130 companies are now located there. It took more than a decade to get to that point after the Navy signed over 1,000 acres in 2001.

Kansas encountered its own military conflict when a massive ammunition plant in Parsons was placed on the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list. As with the Philadelphia Navy Yard, employment at the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant peaked during World War II, topping out at 7,358.

POSTED: Monday, March 11, 2013, 3:00 AM

I am no fan of economic-impact studies because, while written by third-party economists, they are usually paid for by organizations who want to tout the good they are doing in a community.

Still, I must admit to being intrigued by the latest impact study on the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, a nonprofit research group that has become home to many for-profit life-sciences start-ups.

Doylestown won’t make many lists of biotech hotbeds. But it’s where the center was started in 2006 in a shuttered manufacturing complex. Today, the parking lot bustles at rush hour with industry and academic scientists, students and entrepreneurs, according to Timothy Block, the microbiologist who has overseen the center’s growth.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 12:00 PM
Filed Under: Investing, Markets

Wow, the Dow Jones industrial average blew past its previous high, set on Oct. 9, 2007, on Tuesday, closing up 125.95 points at 14,253.77.

What’s next?

Who knows?

POSTED: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 11:49 AM
Filed Under: Business Services
A ship owned by Horizon Lines. (Photo from arm.gov)

The Port of Philadelphia will gain a shipping line when Horizon Lines Inc. moves its northeast terminal operations from Elizabeth, N.J. in April.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based shipping company said Wednesday that the Philadelphia port would handle cargo arriving from its operations in Puerto Rico.

Richard Rodriguez, general manager of Horizon's Puerto Rican operations, said in a statement that it expects the relocation to produce "significant advantages," including faster transit times, quicker turnaround times, and expedited cargo inspections.

POSTED: Monday, March 4, 2013, 6:06 PM
Filed Under: Economic Development
In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 photo taken in Walpole, Mass., an advertisement in the classified section of the Boston Herald newspaper calls attention to possible employment opportunities. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply for a fourth straight week, a sign that the job market may be improving. The Labor Department said Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the lowest in two months. It is the second-lowest total this year. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The end of the employment cliff for Pennsylvania is finally in sight, according to the economists at IHS Global Insight.

On Monday, the Lexington, Mass., firm issued its latest forecast of when states will return to “peak employment” levels. Peak employment refers to the level of employment attained by a state before a recession wreaks its job-killing havoc.

Pennsylvania is now expected to surpass its peak employment level next year during the first quarter, IHS Global Insight says. New Jersey has a bit longer to wait -- fourth quarter 2015. Delaware, meanwhile, remains two years away from a full recovery.

POSTED: Monday, March 4, 2013, 5:54 PM
Filed Under: Manufacturing

Lockheed Martin Corp.'s Moorestown operations have apparently retained the contract for the U.S. Navy's Aegis weapons system, Bloomberg News is reporting.

The defense contractor's Mission Systems and Training unit received a contract worth up to $100 million of which more than half of the work would be done in Moorestown. Bloomberg said Lockheed Martin beat out a team of Boeing Co. and Raytheon Co. who bid to become the engineer for the system which detects and intercepts threats to surface vessels.

Lockheed has been the contractor behind Aegis for more than 40 years.

About this blog
Mike Armstrong blogs about Philadelphia corporations and business-related topics. Contact him at 215-854-2980. Reach Mike at marmstrong@phillynews.com.

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