Calif. Biotech Company Purchases Penn.-Based Biosyn to Acquire Microbicide Gel That Might Prevent Pregnancy, HIV
South San Francisco, Calif.-based Cellegy Pharmaceuticals on Friday announced plans to purchase the Huntingdon, Penn.-based private biotechnology company Biosyn -- a deal valued at $30 million -- to obtain a contraceptive gel that is intended to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The microbicide gel, called Savvy, is being tested in Africa in two late-stage clinical trials for the prevention of HIV through sexual transmission, as well as a late-stage study in the United States to test the gel as a contraceptive. Savvy also has the potential to be used as protection against other STDs, including herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, the companies said, according to the Inquirer. Cellegy's "strong clinical and regulatory capabilities" and "strategic focus in women's health care makes them a perfect commercial partner for us," Anne-Marie Corner -- Biosyn cofounder, president and CEO -- said. K. Michael Forrest, Cellegy president and CEO, said that the product could be on the market by the end of 2007 and "will have a major importance in the developing world to stop the spread of AIDS" (Loyd, Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.