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Executive Summary

VESTAR SUBMITS NOTICE OF TERMINATION FOR R&D AGREEMENT WITH LYPHOMED "due to the inability of the parties to agree regarding key aspects of the research to be carried out by the partnership," Vestar said. In a Sept. 27 press release, Vestar maintained that communications between the two companies "have been poor and that LyphoMed has been unwilling to hold discussions concerning the differences between the parties." LyphoMed announced the joint venture to develop liposome formulations of designated drugs using Vestar's liposome carrier technology in March 1987 ("The Pink Sheet" March 27, 1987, T&G-3). Under the agreement, the two companies were to equally fund all R&D projects, with Vestar retaining manufacturing rights and LyphoMed responsible for sales and marketing. Profits and expenses from the joint venture were to be split equally. The lead compound covered by the joint venture is a liposomal formulation of doxorubicin (Adria's Adriamycin), which is in Phase II clinicals at Georgetown University. A liposomal formulation of amphotericin B, in preclinicals, is also covered by the agreement. "The partnership between Vestar and LyphoMed provides that if it is terminated, the two companies are to agree on the distribution of partnership assets," Vestar said. The San Dimas, Calif.-based liposome company said that if agreement is not reached within 60 days, "the matter will be submitted to arbitration as provided in the partnership agreement." Vestar President Roger Crossely stated: "We would have liked to sit down with them and try to work things out, but under the circumstances it appears best that we go our separate ways." In addition to the LyphoMed partnership, Vestar has collaborative research agreements with J&J's Ethicon division for development of a post-surgical wound healing agent, with Genentech for development of a therapeutic protein delivery system, with Bristol-Myers on a targeted version of cisplatin, and with Sandoz for targeting immunomodulating drugs.

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