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May 7, 2008

Enzon to Spin Off Biotech Business with $150M

  • Enzon Pharmaceuticals decided to spin off its biotechnology segment while Enzon will focus on its specialty pharma franchise. The new entity will be receive $150 million in cash.

    Each company will operate with independent management teams. Following the spin-off, Enzon will retain marketed products Abelcet® for fungal infections, Adagen® for severe combined immunodeficiency disease, DepoCyt® for lymphomatous meningitis, and Oncaspar® for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The company will also retain rights to current PEG-related royalties including those from PEG-Intron® for hepatitis C, Cimzia® in development for rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, and Hematide®, which is an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent in development. Finally, Enzon will also gain rights to the manufacturing facility in Indianapolis.

    Seed money for the biotechnology firm is expected to carry the company forward for two to three years. It will leverage its customized PEGylation technology for licensing, collaborations, and future royalty generation. It will also take with it the locked nucleic acid (LNA) technology to aid in oncology R&D.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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