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R&D news in brief

Our weekly round-up of the news in brief

Third acquisition in a year for Synexus
Clinical trials service group, Synexus Clinical Research, has agreed to an all-share acquisition of Clinical Research Centers (CRC) for an initial consideration of £0.81m plus a maximum deferred consideration of £0.98m. The acquisition, Synexus' third since joining the Alternative Investment Market in November 2005, follows its stated strategy to build a multi-country operation to replicate its UK capability. CRC is a site management organisation based in South Africa providing clinical trial services, particularly the recruitment and subsequent management of patients on to later stage clinical trials for the pharma industry.

Novartis withdraws Glivec MA extension
Novartis has withdrawn an application to European regulators to extend the marketing authorisation for its drug, Glivec, to include the treatment of aggressive systemic mastocytosis in adults. In its official letter to the European Medicines Agency, Novartis stated that the reason for the withdrawal was the consideration of the agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) that the limited data provided did not allow it to conclude on a positive benefit-risk balance of the use of Glivec in aggressive systemic mastocytosis. Glivec is currently approved for the treatment of leukaemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

Roche and InterMune agreement
Roche and InterMune have agreed a deal to co-develop and commercialise hepatitis C treatments, which could bring the California-based biotech up to $470m in milestone payments. The deal also includes a 50-50 split of any US profits from products that come out of the collaboration. The agreement involves InterMune's lead experimental drug candidate for hepatitis C, known as ITMN-191, which is expected to undergo early stage clinical trials before the end of the year. The firms will also collaborate on a research programme to identify, develop and commercialise novel second-generation protease inhibitors for the treatment of hepatitis C.

30th September 2008

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