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OGS Hopes Pfizer Proteomics Deal Remains Free of Pharmacia Tangles

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Following Pfizer''s announcement last month that it has agreed to acquire rival big pharma Pharmacia, Oxford GlycoSciences chief financial officer Stephen Parker said last week that his company is holding out hope that its proteomics relationship with Pfizer emerges unscathed.

"At the moment at least, it doesn''t seem to be getting in the way," he told ProteoMonitor in reference to Pfizer''s pending acquisition. "Amazingly, they don''t even seem to be distracted."

But Parker added that in general such large-scale mergers and acquisitions do inevitably cause some degree of shakeup, citing discussions OGS had last year with a pharma company that were put on hold indefinitely as a result of an acquisition. "You have to assume at some level or another, there will be some disruption," he said. "Our hope is that the relationship with Pfizer will continue intact. At the moment that''s the case, but it''s early days on that one."

When asked whether Pharmacia had partnerships with proteomics companies that might duplicate OGS'' work with Pfizer, Parker said, "I don''t honestly know the answer to that. I''m not aware that they have substantial relationships."

OGS'' deal with Pfizer is currently in its fourth year, with Pfizer paying about $5 million a year in fees for access to OGS'' differential protein analysis platform. In 1998, Pfizer took a stake in OGS valued at $2.5 million.

Separately, OGS said last week that it will close its US sales and marketing office in Bridgewater, NJ, because of delays in getting FDA approval for its drug to treat Gaucher''s disease. As a result, board member Don DeGolyer has resigned from his position on the company''s board.

– JSM

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