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Actavis confirms patent challenge for generic Butrans

BY Ryan Chavis

DUBLIN — Actavis on Friday confirmed that it has filed an abbreviated new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration to market buprenorphine transdermal system, a generic version of Butrans from Purdue Pharma. The drug is used for the treatment of severe pain. 
 
Purdue Pharma filed suit against the company on Sept. 24 to prevent it from commercializing the product before the expiration of certain U.S. patents. Actavis believes it may be a "first applicant" to file an ANDA for generic Butrans. If its ANDA is approved, the company may be entitled to 180 days of marketing exclusivity. 
 
Butrans had U.S. sales of $158 million for the 12 months ending July 31, according to IMS Health data. 
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Mars promotes seasoned leaders

BY Ryan Chavis

MCLEAN, Va. — Mars on Friday announced a number of leadership changes, which include the departure of Todd Lachman, current president of the company's global pet care division. 
 
Lachman, who has been with the company eight years, will be leaving at the end of 2014 to relocate his family to San Francisco. Poul Weihrauch has been named as his successor, effective Jan. 1. Weihrauch is currently global president of Mars Food and also has accountability for Mars drinks and European multisales. He has been with Mars for 14 years, working in multiple categories.
 
Mars also announced the following appointments: 
 
  • Fiona Dawon, currently regional president of Chocolate UK and global retail, will step into the role of global president, Mars Food. She began her career with the company in sales in 1988 as a graduate trainee.
  • Andrew Clarke, currently regional president petcare for Latin America, will become Mars new chief customer officer and a member of the Mars leadership team, effective February 15. 
  • Bruce McColl, Mars' CMO is being made a member of the Mars leadership team. Bruce joined Mars in 1992 in Australia as a brand manager. 
"We are thrilled to have such great talent within the organization and proud of the growth that these leaders have demonstrated over the years," said Grant Reid, office of the president, Mars. "These great leaders have an average of more than 19 years of experience in leadership at Mars, and they are a testament to how well our development programs at Mars works."
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Jean Coutu Group taps Dufour-Lapointe sisters as ambassadors for private-label beauty line

BY Antoinette Alexander

LONGUEUIL, Quebec — Canada’s Jean Coutu Group has tapped the three Dufour-Lapointe sisters — Maxime, Chloé and Justine — to be the new ambassadors of its Personnelle Cosmetics private-label brand.

The three sisters, known by the public for their athletic performance in freestyle skiing, will be seen on Personnelle Cosmetics collections’ advertisements and promotions.

“This is the first time in our history that we associate our private label to a public figure. The choice of the three sisters as Personnelle Cosmetics’ icons was obvious and easy to make. They represent our main values: family spirit, health and well being,” said François J. Coutu, president and CEO of the Jean Coutu Group.

The women distinguished themselves during the freestyle skiing competitions at the Sotchi Olympic Games last winter. Maxime qualified for the semi-finals and finished 12th, while Chloé won a silver medal and her sister Justine was awarded gold. They also were successful on the World Cup circuit in 2013-14.

The Personnelle Cosmetics brand offers a line of beauty products for eyes, lips, complexion and nails. The next collection, to be unveiled in early November, will push to the forefront the new ambassadors.

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