Company News: Celgene, Glouceser Pharmaceuticals, Watson Pharmaceuticals and Takeda

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Celgene acquired oncology focused biotech firm Gloucester Pharmaceuticals for $340 million in cash and is projecting an early 2010 launch of Istodax, the novel HDAC inhibitor for which Gloucester recently received FDA approval. The deal calls for Celgene to make additional payments of $300 million for future US and international regulatory milestones. Approved last month, Istodax treats cutaneous T-cell lymphoma—a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma—in patients who have received at least one prior systemic therapy. Recruitment for a trial for peripheral T-cell lymphoma is expected to be completed by early next year.
 
Watson Pharmaceuticals said it is challenging the patent for Takeda's Rozerem (ramelteon) insomnia drug. The generics firm said that, following its recent ANDA submission with the FDA, Takeda filed a lawsuit in an effort to prevent Watson from selling ramelteon prior to the drug's scheduled patent expiration. Per patent rules, the suit bars FDA from approving any copycat version for up to 30 months, or until a court makes a final decision. For the 12 months ending in September, Rozerem had US sales of $91 million, according to IMS Health data cited by the Watson.
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