Company news from the 04/24/07 news brief

Novartis has acquired the rights to a late-stage cancer drug from UK firm Antisoma. Novartis will pay $75 million upfront for the rights to the drug, AS1404, and up to $705 million more if certain milestones are met. Novartis, which will take AS1404 have world-wide sales rights, expects the drug to enter Phase III clinical testing in 2008. Vox Medica has initiated a new business unit focused on offering strategic guidance and insight to its pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and other healthcare clients. The unit will be headed up by Rhoda Dunn, who was formerly responsible for Vox Medica’s business development activities. PDI, a provider of commercialization services to the biopharmaceutical industry, has launched its new Talent Acquisition business unit, offering stand-alone solutions to rapidly and economically backfill openings or to expand a pharmaceutical company’s internal sales force. Susanne Reilly will head the business unit as VP of talent management. Prior to joining PDI in 2005, Reilly was a senior consultant with Applied Research Corporation, a human resources consulting firm which specializes in leadership identification, assessment and development. Her key clients were leading healthcare and financial services firms, including two of the top five pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Applied Research, Reilly previously held positions as the director of leadership talent management at Avaya and VP of performance development at JP Morgan Chase.”