PHARMACY

Graceway Pharmaceuticals signs license agreement with Pfizer

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A Bristol, Tenn.-based drug maker plans to buy rights to three skin drugs from Pfizer under an acquisition and license agreement.

Graceway Pharmaceuticals, a portfolio company of Pfizer and GTCR Golder Rauner, said it would acquire from Pfizer worldwide commercial rights to three investigational skin drugs in development stages ranging from preclinical to mid-stage. The drugs include two in phase 2 trials that treat oily skin and acne and one in preclinical development meant to reduce surgical and traumatic scar formation. Financial terms of the deal were not specified.

“We are excited about the potential that these molecules represent,” Graceway chairman and CEO Jefferson Gregory said in a statement. “Their acquisition is evidence of Graceway’s ongoing commitment to the dermatology community by offering innovative medicines aimed at enhancing patient care.”

Pfizer said the agreement with Graceway was part of a program to out license research and development programs that it no longer considered core to its strategy.

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Biogen Idec, Acorda Therapeutics to develop, commercialize MS drug

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Two drug makers have announced plans to develop and commercialize a multiple sclerosis treatment in markets outside the United States.

Biogen Idec and Acorda Therapeutics said the agreement to market Fampridine-SR (4-aminopyridine) was a sublicensing of an existing license agreement between Acorda and a subsidiary of Elan Corp. The drug is an orally administered, sustained-release drug being developed to improve walking ability in patients with MS.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen Idec will commercialize Fampridine-SR and other aminopyridine products in markets outside the United States, and also will have responsibility for regulatory affairs and future clinical development of the drug. In exchange, Acorda will receive an upfront payment of $110 million and additional payments of up to $400 million based on the successful achievement of future regulatory and sales milestones.

The companies said the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing a regulatory approval application for the drug for the U.S. market.

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Study: Joint replacement patients with diabetes greatly benefit from controlled glucose

BY Alaric DeArment

ROSEMONT, Ill. The risk of complications that diabetes patients often have when undergoing total joint replacement decreases when they have their glucose levels under control, according to a recent study.

Published in the July issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the study found that diabetics with uncontrolled glucose levels are more than three times as likely as those with their levels under control to experience a stroke or death after joint replacement surgery, and are approximately twice as likely to experience post-operative bleeding and infection.

“We found that controlled glucose levels really do make a difference for the patient,” Duke University Medical Center orthopedic surgeon and study co-author Milford Marchant said. “It did not matter if the patient had Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.”

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