Princeton, N.J.-based PharmaNet Development Group is showing more signs of positive change as it attempts to move forward after troubled times. It announced this week that it appointed Johane Boucher-Champagne president and chief executive of its Anapharm unit, a phase I and bioequivalencey business based in Quebec City, Canada.
She has been acting chief executive since December and began working at Anapharm as its chief operating officer in 1998. Boucher-Champagne will replace Marc LeBel who founded Anapharm in 1996. Anapharm was acquired by SFBC International, now PharmaNet, in 2002.
In August 2006—after emerging from a year of legal and financial blows and bad publicity concerning recruitment of illegal immigrants in phase I trials—SFBC changed its name to PharmaNet Development Group, a company it acquired in 2004 for $245 million in cash.
The company closed its Miami facility, effectively ending its phase I and bioequivalencey business in the U.S. The Anapharm group kept its name and became the company's only remaining early stage unit. It operates solely in Canada.
Anapharm had its own round of controversy last year after at least 19 subjects were exposed to, and nine patients tested positive for tuberculosis (TB) while enrolled in a non-TB related trial.
A 37-year-old man with an active case of the disease was included in the trial, and there were reports that he was kept in the on-site study with subjects despite visible symptoms of illness. The issue prompted Health Canada to require new patients be screened for contagious diseases and monitored for specific symptoms.