Company news from the 11/21/06 news brief

Pfizer’s animal health division has agreed to acquire Embrex, an international agricultural biotechnology company known for its Inovoject poultry vaccine-delivery systems, the companies announced. Under the terms of the agreement Embrex will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer. Johnson & Johnson has entered into an acquisition deal for $1.4 billion with device company Conor Medsystems. Advinus Therapeutics and Merck have formed a drug discovery and clinical development collaboration in the area of metabolic disorders. Advinus and Merck will work together to develop clinically validated drug candidates for metabolic disorders, with Merck retaining the right to advance the most promising of these candidates into late-stage clinical trials. Under the terms of the agreement, Advinus will receive an upfront payment and could potentially receive milestone payments of up to $74.5 million for each target included in the collaboration. Advinus is also eligible for royalties on the sales of any products that result from the collaboration. The collaboration will begin with two target programs, and could expand to include others over time.