PHARMACY

Covis acquires U.S. rights to five GSK drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

ZUG, Switzerland — A Swiss drug maker is acquiring the U.S. rights for several GlaxoSmithKline drugs.

Covis Pharma Sarl announced Thursday that it had acquired the rights to the antibiotic Fortaz (ceftazidime), the antibiotic Zinacef (cefuroxime), the heart arrhythmia drug Lanoxin (digoxin), the antidepressant Parnate (tranylcypromine sulfate) and the gastroesophogeal reflux disease drug Zantac (ranitidine hydrochloride). GSK will retain rights to the drugs outside the United States.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


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Pfizer announces Embeda post-market trial results

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A Pfizer painkiller appears to produce a much less positive experience for recreational drug users when crushed than when administered whole, according to results of a post-market clinical study program.

The drug maker announced results of three phase-4 trials of Embeda (morphine sulfate and naltrexone hydrochloride) designed to assess its affects when crushed and taken orally or inhaled through the nose. Two of the studies tested Embeda on recreational drug users, while the third study tested it on patients with chronic pain, though that study had to be canceled due to Pfizer’s voluntary recall of Embeda in March 2011 due to a chemical stability issue.

In the studies among recreational users, however, the company said Embeda produced lower scores of "drug liking," "high," "good effects," "overall drug liking" and "take the drug again."


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Actavis, QRxPharma partner to sell MoxDuo IR

BY Alaric DeArment

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Drug maker Actavis is partnering with QRxPharma to sell what the former called a novel pain drug in the United States.

The company said Wednesday that the two had signed a letter of intent to commercialize MoxDuo IR (morphine and oxycodone), which they plan to launch in third quarter 2012.

"This partnership represents a major step in our strategy to further strengthen our position as on eof the major players in the segment of pain management in the U.S.," Actavis CEO Claudio Albrecht said. "Furthermore, as this latest development highlights, Actavis is serious in its quest to be ahead of the changing generic pharmaceutical industry. In the future, there will not be such a clear difference between innovator and generic companies. The lines between the two models are blurring. The generics business as we know it today will be gone within the next 10 years."


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