Advisory firm argues against Cephalon board change. J&J withdraws cancer drug petition. Print E-mail
By BioMedReports.com Staff   
Friday, 29 April 2011 18:41
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on April 26, 2011.

Glass Lewis argues against Cephalon board change - An attempt by Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals (TSE:VRX) to replace Cephalon's (NASDAQ:CEPH) board of directors has been recommended  by Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis, which offers independent advice on corporate governance issues,  to oppose this "poinson pill", a measure designed to block unwelcome takeovers.

Glass Lewis said the current board was in the best position to determine strategic alternatives for Cephalon, including Valeant's hostile takeover offer of $5.7 billion, or $73 a share, which was made public on March 29.  However, Glass Lewis did not rule out the chance of a deal being struck.  

Valeant has given Cephalon shareholders until May 12 to decide on its proposal to replace the board with a new slate.  Valeant has said it could bump up its offer price modestly if it is granted access to Cephalon's books.



Zeltia says J&J withdraws cancer drug petition - U.S. group Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) had withdrawn its petition to the Federal Drug Administration to authorise the use of Yondelis in combination with Doxil, according to Spanish drug company Zeltia (MCE:ZEL).

Zeltia said J&J had dropped its request to combine Yondelis, a drug made by Zeltia affiliate Pharma Mar, with J&J's Doxil for the treatment of ovarian cancer in remission after the FDA had recommended an additional test phase before approval.

The decision, taken by J&J's affiliate Centocar Ortho Biotech Products, would not stop the future presentation of a new drug, including additional test data, to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) June 5.

The announcement could be taken as a further setback for Zeltia after Australia's APCM decided in November not to recommend Yondelis for soft tissue sarcoma and ovarian cancer.  The health risks posed by the drug outweigh its potential effectiveness according to reports.


Also Friday:

Abbott (NYSE:ABT) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved AndroGel® (testosterone gel) 1.62%, a clear, odorless, gel formulation shown to restore testosterone levels in hypogonadal men with half the volume of gel at the starting dose compared to AndroGel 1%.

Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:HALO), a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products targeting the extracellular matrix, today announced it plans to report first quarter 2011 financial results on Friday, May 6, 2011 before the open of the financial markets.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:KERX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of medically important pharmaceutical products for the treatment of cancer and renal disease (the "Company"), today announced its results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011.

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:LIFE) today announced that its shareholders have approved Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Health System Chief Executive Officer at the University of Michigan, as a new member of its Board of Directors.

NeurogesX, Inc. (Nasdaq:NGSX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel pain management therapies, today announced that long time CEO Anthony DiTonno will retire by December 31, 2011.

Oncothyreon Inc. (NASDAQ:ONTY) today announced that it has priced an underwritten public offering of 10,000,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $4.00 per share for gross proceeds of $40.0 million.

Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPTR) today announced that the Company will present at the following investor conferences:  JMP Securities Tenth Annual Research Conference on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco.

VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) today announced that VIVUS management will present an overview of the company at four investment conferences during the month of May.



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