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 PITTSBURGH, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move to further strengthen its position as a major producer of pharmaceuticals based on genetic technology, Miles Inc. announced today that the company will form a new Biological Products business unit. The new unit will have global responsibility for manufacturing and marketing plasma-based products and for marketing biotechnologically derived therapeutics.
 Miles said its goal is to achieve more than $1 billion in Biological Products business unit sales by the end of the decade, nearly double the biological product sales expected for 1993.
 The company said that a new biotechnology business unit was also being created which would be devoted to research and development of recombinant proteins and other biotechnology based drugs for sale by Miles and its German parent company.
 "The future of pharmaceutical research will be focused on genetic technologies. While the U.S. is the center of genetic engineering, this reorganization recognizes the increasingly 'borderless' nature of the international biological and biotechnology community. It creates a structure that will enable us to better build upon our leading position in the plasma fractionation industry and more fully exploit growth opportunities of biotechnology on a worldwide basis," said Helge H. Wehmeier, president and chief executive officer of Miles Inc.
 "Our new biotechnology business is also well positioned for growth. Our investments in biotechnology began in the mid-1980s and today we can point to our newly launched recombinant Factor VIII product, Kogenate, plus several other very promising biotechnology products," Wehmeier said.
 Ralph Galustian will continue in his current role as president of the expanded Biological Products business unit. The unit is part of the Pharmaceutical Division of Miles Inc. and is based in West Haven, Conn. The Biologicals unit has manufacturing sites in Clayton, N.C., Berkeley, Calif., Covina, Calif. and Spokane, Wash.
 Galustian said he would pursue international strategic partnerships to increase the world's chronically short supply of plasma for fractionation into therapeutic proteins. Miles, for example, plans to build a new plasma fractionation plant in Canada in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross. The company also plans to fractionate plasma from Poland and then ship back finished biological medicines to Poland and other plasma supplier countries, he said.
 "With improved international business dialogue and partnerships between non-profit and profit-making sectors, the world's biological products business can make unprecedented improvements in the quality of life of patients everywhere and bring more countries closer to plasma- self-sufficiency," Galustian said.
 The reorganization integrates various biological support functions into one entity led by Galustian with a global manufacturing and marketing responsibility.
 Dr. George Scangos, currently senior vice president, Pharmaceutical Division Research and Development, will head the new Biotechnology unit, with offices in West Haven and Berkeley.
 The company's new Biotechnology Business Unit will focus on developing a portfolio of biotechnology products which will ultimately be marketed by Miles and its German parent company. Under the reorganization, biotechnology activities previously spread throughout the organization will be brought together, focused and strengthened, according to Dr. Scangos.
 The Biotechnology unit will be responsible for licensing research, process development and production of all biotechnology products. Miles is now developing two separate monoclonal antibody therapies for treating septic shock. Miles is additionally pursuing a hemophilia gene therapy program it hopes will lead to a cure for the disease. The company has a number of additional biotechnology projects and does extensive research and development with transgenic animals for use as both animal models and a source for therapeutic proteins.
 "This new organization is a strong and positive signal indicating our parent company's flexibility and commitment to biotechnology. It will facilitate the development of a strong pipeline of biotechnology products which will be a major source of growth for our company's worldwide pharmaceutical business," said Dr. Scangos.
 The reorganization changes become effective Oct. 1, 1993.
 Miles Inc. is a Fortune 100 based company with major businesses in healthcare, chemicals and imaging technologies. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Miles employs some 26,000 people and had sales in 1992 of $6.5 billion.
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 /CONTACT: Don Hyman of Miles Inc., 203-498-6545, or nights, 203-255-9093/

CO: Miles Inc. ST: Pennsylvania, Connecticut IN: MTC SU:

PS-MP -- NY020 -- 0255 09/09/93 10:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 9, 1993

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