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Hospira shares rise after Sanofi cancer drug OK’d

Hospira won approval for the first U.S. generic version of Sanofi-Aventis SA’s big-selling Taxotere cancer drug, sending Hospira shares up 2 percent.

U.S. sales of Taxotere, an infused chemotherapy known generically as docetaxel, were $1.2 billion last year, according to Hospira. JPMorgan analyst Chris Schott said recently that U.S. approval of generic Taxotere was the most important near-term catalyst for Hospira’s shares. Get the full story »

Hospira taps Allergan president as new CEO

F. Michael (Mike) Ball.

Hospira Inc. has named F. Michael Ball, president of Botox maker Allergan Inc., as its next top executive, succeeding the only CEO the Lake Forest-based maker of generic injectable drugs has had since it was spun off from Abbott Laboratories.

Ball, 55, will Hospira become chief executive March 28, replacing Christopher Begley, who will retire after nearly seven years in the top job, the company announced late Monday. Hospira was spun off as a public company from North Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories in 2004. Get the full story »

Hospira profits tumble 40% on quality issues, sales

Shares of Hospira Inc. lost 7 percent of their value after the company said fourth-quarter profits fell nearly 40 percent, as the maker of drugs and devices works to improve product quality in the wake of regulatory issues.

Hospira had lower-than-anticipated fourth quarter sales because it has been unable to deliver products to customers fast enough due largely to “quality enhancement initiatives.” Get the full story »

Hospira to stop making drug used in executions

Scores of executions across the U.S. are expected to be delayed for what could be several months a Lake Forest drug company’s decision to stop making a key anesthetic used in putting inmates to death in 34 states.

Hospira Inc.  –  the sole producer of Pentothal –  said Friday that  it was unable to reach an agreement with European regulators on how to resume production and distribution of its brand version for the drug sodium thiopental, a key ingredient in a drug cocktail used in executions. Get the full story »

Hospira board has ’short list’ for new CEO

Hospira Inc. chief executive officer Christopher Begley said this morning that the company’s board will be interviewing candidates to succeed him in the next two months from a newly-created “short list.”

Begley, the top executive of the Lake Forest-based generic drug and device maker, told Wall Street analysts on the company’s third-quarter earnings call that “several dozen” applicants for his job have been pared down to a “short list.” Get the full story »

Hospira profits tumble over lost cancer drug sales

Hospira Inc.’s third-quarter profit tumbled 40 percent largely due to the loss of U.S. sales of a generic cancer drug the company cannot sell due to a patent settlement that is keeping the cheaper version off the market.

The Lake Forest-based maker of generic injectable drugs and medication delivery devices said net income fell to $71.4 million, or 42 cents a share in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. That compares to $116.2 million, or 71 cents in the third quarter of 2009. Get the full story »

Hospira drug supply issues may delay executions

A lethal injection room in a Texas prison. (AP photo)

The execution room in a Texas prison. (AP)

An anesthesia drug sold by Hospira Inc. that is used by several states to execute prisoners on death row may not be available until early next year due to supply issues.

The drug, sodium thiopental, is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug administration for use in lethal injections, so it is not sold by Hospira for such uses. But like other prescriptions, physicians are known to provide drugs  to patients in off-label form, and the product is known to be used as part of a cocktail of prescriptions used to put inmates to death.

USA Today reported last week that the shortage of several anesthesia drugs may delay executions in at least two states. Federal agencies and some hospitals have also reported that elective surgeries are also being delayed because of the shortage of such products. Get the full story »

Hospira drug receives additional approval in Japan

Drug and medical device maker Hospira Inc. said Japanese regulators have approved the use of its sedative Precedex in patients for more than 24 hours. The drug was originally approved there in 2004 to sedate intubated and mechanically ventilated patients in intensive care for up to 24 hours.

A Hospira spokesman said the Lake Forest, Ill., company has done trials of the sedative in the United States, where it also is seeking approval for the longer-term use.

Hospira CEO Christopher Begley to retire

Hospira CEO Chris Begley. (Hospira)

Hospira Inc. on Friday  said Chief Executive  Christopher Begley will retire after more than six years in the top job but remain active in the management and operation of the Lake Forest-based maker of generic drugs and hospital products.

Begley, 58, is the only CEO Hospira has had since it spun off from Abbott Laboratories in 2004 into its own publicly traded company. He will remain CEO until a successor is named and then take on the position of “executive chairman,” which Begley described in a conference call with analysts as a chairman who stays on as an employee “and plays a greater role in the company than a non-executive chair.” Get the full story »

Regulatory issues overshadow Hospira 2Q profits

Though Hospira Inc.’s second-quarter profits more than tripled from a year earlier, the company’s stock lost more than 7 percent Wednesday as the medical product maker continued to be dogged by regulatory issues.

The Lake Forest-based maker of medication delivery devices and injectable generic drugs had net income of $83.5 million, or 49 cents a share, in the period ended June 30. That compares to $25.5 million, or 16 cents a share in the second quarter of 2009, when it had reported charges related to its cost-cutting initiative, “Project Fuel,” that is saving the company more than $100 million annual and has cut several hundred jobs. Get the full story »

Hospira to test “biosimilar” anemia drug in U.S.

In the wake of health reform’s passage, Hospira Inc. will begin testing an experimental cheaper version of a popular anemia treatment in the first phase of a U.S. clinical trial.

A path for the Food and Drug Administration to approval “biosimilar” or biogeneric drugs was a part of health reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law four months ago by President Barack Obama. Biotech brands are available only outside the U.S. but the law will enable biosimilars here in the coming years. Get the full story »

Genzyme, Hospira reach new drug-packaging deal

Genzyme Corp., which is attempting to fix quality-control problems involving its top medicines, will have Hospira Inc. fill and package the drugs under a new supply agreement between the two companies, Genzyme said in a regulatory filing . Get the full story »

Sources: Sanofi preparing major U.S. acquisition

From Bloomberg | Sources familiar with the situation say that French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA is preparing a major acquisition in the U.S. Acquisitions allow big drugmakers to replenish their supply of newer drugs and cut costs by combining sales forces. One analyst believes that Sanofi may want to consider diversifying by buying Mead Johnson Nutrition Co., a maker of infant formula that was spun off from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. last year. Other acquisition targets might include Mylan Inc., the biggest U.S. maker of generic drugs, and Hospira Inc.

Hospira expect to close on Javelin Friday

Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday it accepted a tender offer by Hospira Inc. to buy about 79 percent of the company’s shares. Under the offer, which expired on Wednesday at midnight, Hospira will purchase about 51.3 million shares at $2.20 per share. Javelin said the merger is expected to be completed by Friday. Get the full story »

Javelin sues Hospira after acquisition is held up

By Ameet Sachdev | Hospira Inc.’s stalled $145 million acquisition of Javelin
Pharmaceuticals has gone to court.
Javelin said Thursday that it has sued Hospira to compel the Lake Forest
company to complete a merger agreement signed in April. The lawsuit was
filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
Hospira has twice extended its tender offer to purchase the shares of
Javelin for $2.20 a share, citing unsatisfied merger conditions. The
last offer expired at midnight Wednesday. The new deadline is midnight
on June 16.

Get the full story »