Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pharma, Biotech

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 12:10 PM

You never know when an acquisition involving the automobile industry in the Midwest in 1998 might affect a drug-development firm in the Philadelphia area in 2013.

But that’s apparently the backstory of $15 million in financing completed last week by Exton-based AltheRx Pharmaceuticals.

That round of investment was led by Becker Ventures L.L.C., a family office- investment management firm that manages the wealth of Charles E. Becker, who had been chief executive and co-owner of Becker Group Inc., a privately held automotive- interior supplier.

POSTED: Monday, March 25, 2013, 10:48 AM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

Shire P.L.C. will buy SARcode Bioscience Inc., which is developing a treatment for dry eyes, in a deal worth at least $160 million.

The pharmaceutical company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Wayne, said the acquisition will give it control of a compound called Lifitegrast, which is currently in late-stage clinical trials.

About 25 million people in the United States are thought to suffer from dry eye disease, of which 9 million are candidates for prescription drug treatment, Shire said.

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: 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, January 30, 2013, 10:23 AM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

BioClinica Inc., a Bucks County-based provider of clinical trial management services, will be acquired by JLL Partners Inc., a New York private-equity firm, for about $123 million.

A holding company controlled by JLL will acquire BioClinica, of Newtown, through a cash tender offer at $7.25 per share.

Shares of the publicly traded BioClinica were up 19 percent, of $1.17, at $7.22 in morning trading.

POSTED: Wednesday, December 19, 2012, 3:04 PM

One factoid that didn't make it into my column in Wednesday's newspaper on state subsidies to corporations, which focused on Delaware's $11.1 million incentive package to retain Incyte Corp., was the cost per job.

First, Delaware officials calculated the amount of state personal income tax the state would receive from a workforce of 560 from now until the end of 2018. That figure of $10,070,505 is the amount of the grant that Incyte received in exchange for creating 266 jobs.

To calculate what that works out per job, Delaware divided that dollar amount by 560 jobs, producing $17,983 per job. Why not the 266 jobs created, which would be $37,859? Because the deal calls for Incyte to have 560 employees in Delaware as of Dec. 31, 2018. If it does not, then there is a clawback provision that requires to company to pay back the state for every job under that level. That would be $17,983 per job.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 12:14 PM
Filed Under: Pharma, Biotech

An update to my column in Tuesday's paper about the mix of messages emerging from several of the region's life-sciences firms:

A spokeswoman for Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc. said the sale price for generic drugs business that it will sell to Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories Ltd. is $65 million. Takeda will keep the gout drug Colcrys, which it said generated net sales of $155 million during the three months ended Sept. 30.

Takeda acquired Colcrys and the other generics when it acquired Philadelphia's URL Pharma Inc. in June for $800 million.

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

Mike Armstrong Inquirer Columnist
Also on
letter icon Newsletter