Company news from the 01/02/07 news brief

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals said patent litigation relating to sumatriptan injection, the generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Imitrex Injection, has been dismissed by the US District Court for the District of Delaware pursuant to the previously announced settlement agreement between Spectrum and GSK. In November, Spectrum and GSK reached an agreement to settle patent litigation relating to sumatriptan injection. The terms of the confidential agreement provide that Spectrum may exclusively distribute authorized generic versions of certain sumatriptan injection products in the US with an expected launch during GSK's sumatriptan pediatric exclusivity period, which begins on Aug. 6, 2008, but with the launch occurring not later than Nov. 6, 2008. Spectrum will launch sumatriptan injection through its partner for the sale and distribution of the drug, Par Pharmaceutical. Boehringer Ingelheim is testing a compound called flibanserin for female sexual dysfunction. According to a published report, the German drug firm has launched four major clinical trials, involving 5,000 women in 220 locations, with the goal of applying for FDA approval in 2009. A Chinese court ordered two local companies to stop selling knockoffs of Viagra and to compensate Pfizer for trademark infringements. But the court rejected Pfizer’s claim that a third Chinese company had encouraged the other two to violate its patent and trademark. According to a report in the Associated Press, at least a dozen Chinese drug firms are seeking the right to make Viagra (sildenafil citrate). In 2005 Viagra had worldwide sales of about $1.65 billion. Bristol-Myers Squibb granted Otsuka Pharmaceutical the exclusive rights in Japan to develop and commercialize the investigational compound saxagliptin, which is being studied for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. BMS aims to file for US regulatory approval in 2008. Saxagliptin belongs to the DPP-4 inhibitor class of diabetes drugs. DDB Rx announced it has changed the name of the agency to AgencyRx. Pfizer said it has completed the sale of its consumer healthcare business to Johnson & Johnson for $16.6 billion. The deal was announced last June and cleared the Federal Trade Commission in late December after the two companies agreed to sell off several products to resolve concerns the acquisition would reduce competition in some product areas. As part of that agreement, J&J will sell the rights to Pfizer’s Zantac heartburn treatment to Boehringer Ingelheim for $510 million. Additionally, Chattem, of Chattanooga TN, is to pay $410 million for the US rights to five J&J and Pfizer brands including Act mouthwash, Balmex diaper rash ointment, anti-diarrhea drug Kaopectate, sleep-aid Unisom and anti-itch treatment Cortizone. Pfizer’s consumer healthcare division posted $3.9 billion in sales in 2005. Grey Healthcare Group has acquired a majority stake in Comunicacion y Servicio Consultores de Marketing Publicidad (CyS), an independent healthcare communications services agency in Spain. Founded in 1997, CyS is based in Madrid and employs 16 people. Clients include Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories, GSK, Schering and Boehringer Ingelheim. CyS joins GHG’s global network of 43 offices in 22 countries. CyS’s revenues for 2005 was approximately $5.7 million.