All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for October 2003

Lab agrees to pay $80 million for rights to transplant drug

Wed, October 1, 2003
David Whelan
Contra Costa Times

Protein Design Labs Inc. (PDLI), which develops antibodies for medicines, said it will pay partner Roche Holding AG at least $80 million to regain rights to its Zenapax drug.

The Swiss drug giant may continue selling Zenapax for transplant patients until 2007 unless it opts to sell back those rights too, the companies said in a statement. The price for that option would depend on Zenapax sales and may be worth about $21 million, the companies estimated.

Fremont-based PDLI is studying Zenapax's use in diseases such as severe asthma and multiple sclerosis, and the updated agreement frees the company to enter new partnerships. Roche has sold the drug since 1997 to keep patients' bodies from rejecting transplanted kidneys.


Hayward generic drug maker Impax Laboratories Inc. (IPXL) got good news from the Food and Drug Administration. Shares in the company rose 92 cents, or 8 percent, to close at $12.51 Tuesday after it received approval for its abbreviated new drug application for a generic version of Schering Plough Corp.'s Claritin Reditabs.

The drug company said Schering Plough markets the quick-dissolving formula of loratadine as an over-the-counter antihistamine to relieve hay fever symptoms. Claritin Reditabs lost their patent protection in December.

An Impax spokesman said the company already has FDA approval for an extended-release formula of loratadine, D-12, which it licenses to both Schering-Plough and Wyeth . The spokesman said he couldn't comment on current or expected revenue from its loratadine licenses and products.

Alameda-based Peninsula Pharmaceuticals Inc. signed a deal with Japanese drugmaker Takeda Chemical Industries Ltd. to manufacture and distribute TAK-599, an antibiotic being prepared for clinical trials. Peninsula will develop and market the drugs everywhere except Japan, and will have exclusive rights. Takeda will manufacture the drug for all worldwide distribution.

TAK-599 is the newest member of the broad spectrum cephalosporin class of antibacterials and will be used to combat drug-resistant bugs.


Planitax, an Emeryville tax software and consulting company, added Peter Riccio as the company's new vice president of sales, according to Venture Wire. Riccio recently served as the vice president of American sales at Saba Software.


Dublin's Sybase Inc. (SY) celebrated the grand opening of Shanghai University's new Sybase-Shanghai Information Technology Institute. The new research and teaching center will focus on new technology, including Web development, mobile and wireless applications, and databases. Sybase chief John Chen was named an honorary professor.

Copyright © 2003, Contra Costa Times