Some AstraZeneca oncology sales force personnel will be shifted to other product lines in anticipation of patent expirations. Arimidex, used for the treatment of breast cancer, will be going off patent in 2010, and Casodex, for prostate cancer, is scheduled to go off patent in 2009. A company spokesperson said while most of the oncology sales reps will be reassigned, some will be let go through attrition.
Wyeth has entered into acquisition talks with Crucell, a Dutch vaccine manufacturer, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Wyeth may offer as much as $1.35 billion, the report said. Crucell manufactures vaccines for hepatitis B, influenza, typhoid and cholera.
Reuters reported that Icelandic company Actavis, one of the world's top generic drug manufacturers, will be auctioned off by its private-equity owners. The auction could raise as much as $6 billion or more, according to the Reuters report.