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Archive for the 'Regulatory approvals' Category

State OKs $4.5B takeover of Energy East

September
3

State regulators today approved the $4.5 billion sale of Energy East Corp. to Iberdrola SA., with a requirement that the Spain-based energy conglomerate credit New York customers $275 million.

The sale includes two New York state subsidiaries: Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. and New York State Electric & Gas Corp., which has nearly 90,000 customers in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

New York was the last of four Northeastern states to weigh in on the deal. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine previously approved the buyout.

The Public Service Commission 4-0 vote follows a non-binding determination by an administrative law judge in June that state regulators should deny Iberdrola’s takeover of Portland, Maine-based Energy East, saying the sale wasn’t in the interest of New York state residents.

Further, the judge advised that should PSC officials approve the sale, regulators should place conditions on the deal, including requiring Iberdrola to sell wind-turbine generators to prevent any possibility of electricity price manipulation.

Last month, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., urged the commission to drop its insistence that Iberdrola sell all its wind power assets, saying that requirement wasn’t in keeping with the goal of moving the state toward renewable sources of energy.

In announcing its approval yesterday, commission Chairman Garry Brown said in permitting the sale, PSC required that Iberdrola credit ratepayers $275 million as a condition in allowing the company to operate both generation and transmission facilities in the state, which the state generally views as unacceptable.

Iberdrola will also be permitted to own and operate Energy East hydroelectric plants but will be required to sell those that operate on fossil fuels, ordering the company to file a divestiture plan of such assets within 90 days of the buyout’s completion.

Iberdrola must file a written statement of acceptance of the commission’s order before the deal can close, PSC said.

Posted by David Schepp on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
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Barr confirms patent challenge

July
29

Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. confirmed today that its Pomona-based subsidiary, Barr Laboratories Inc., has challenged four patents held by Amgen Inc. for its Sensipar drug, used by dialysis patients to treat side-effects of the treatment.

Barr said it filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application with the Food and Drug Administration on March 10, the first date the agency could accept such an application for the kidney drug.

On Monday, Amgen, along with patent partners Brigham and Women’s Hospital Inc. and NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., filed suit against Barr and Israeli drug-maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for planning to sell generic Sensipar before the expiration of patent protection.

Sensipar recorded $377 million in U.S. sales during the 12 months ending May, Barr said.

Teva, the world’s largest generic-drug maker, is buying Montvale, N.J.-based Barr for $9 billion, the companies said jointly earlier this month.

Shares of Barr were down fractionally in noontime trading to $65.81 a share.

Posted by David Schepp on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 at 11:11 am |
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Emisphere reports upbeat results in drug tests

July
28

Emisphere Technologies Inc. said today new study results show an oral form of vitamin B12 that the company is developing reduced the amount of time it took for the body to absorb the nutrient, while increasing the amount of the nutrient that was absorbed.

Developing an effective oral form of the nutrient may save millions of Americans from painful injections, needed to ensure they get adequate levels of vitamin B12.

The study, which involved 20 men divided into four groups, showed vitamin B12 absorption was 10 times higher in those given a supplement using Emisphere’s eligen technology, according to the Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based company, which employs 60 workers in research and development at the Landmark at Eastview office complex.

Eligen, which the company has been developing in some form for years, essentially chaperons the nutrient through the digestive system, where it would otherwise be destroyed, into the bloodstream.

Data from the study hold “real promise for improving the way we approach vitamin B12 supplementation,” said Donald W. Jacobsen, professor of molecular medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

At least 5 million people a year in the United States receive some 40 million B-12 injections to treat a range of debilitating diseases.

Shares of the company at midday were up by nearly 7 percent to $3.29 a share.

Posted by David Schepp on Monday, July 28th, 2008 at 11:09 am |
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Business group back greater insurance rate scrutiny

June
6

The head of the Westchester County Association called for greater regulation of the insurance industry in the wake of a recent settlement requiring Oxford Health Insurance to refund $50 million in overcharges to about 37,000 small businesses.
President William M. Mooney Jr. said he supports a proposal that would require the state Insurance Department to approve rate increases. The agency currently reviews increases after the fact; a review of Oxford led to the refund settlement.
“Our own Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Healthcare Crisis has been advocating this measure be passed for the past three years,” Mooney said in a statement. “We are pleased that the governor also recognizes the need for lawmakers to restore the tools to better monitor and manage the marketplace for health insurance rates.”

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Friday, June 6th, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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