PHARMACY

GSK, Theravance launch Breo Ellipta

BY Alaric DeArment

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — A once-daily inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has become available, the makers of the inhaler said Wednesday.

GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance announced the availability of Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate; vilanterol), for long-term maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, a term that encompasses chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The drug is not meant for treating acute bronchospasm or asthma, the companies said.

"Patients and physicians have a new treatment option with Breo Ellipta, the first once-daily [inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta-2 agonist] for the maintenance treatment of COPD," GSK U.S. Respiratory Business Unit SVP Jorge Bartolome said. "This new option for healthcare providers to prescribe is good news for the millions of people in the United States affected by COPD."

Under a partnership between the two companies started in 2002, Theravance is making a $30 million milestone payment to GSK following the launch of the drug, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in May.

 

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PHARMACY

Paws Pet Co. to acquire Mesa Pharmacy

BY Alaric DeArment

PALO ALTO, Calif. — The Paws Pet Co. is buying an Irvine, Calif.-based compounding pharmacy as it seeks to transition from a pet company into a pharmaceutical company, Paws said.

Paws said it has agreed to acquire Mesa Pharmacy, which makes custom compounded, non-narcotic, transdermal topical pain medications marketed to industrial health physicians and clinics. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Mesa’s sales are expected to be more than $25 million in 2014, Paws said. This month, it has received more than $3.4 million in orders and filled more than $1.5 million in prescriptions.

As part of the transition, Paws plans to change its name to Praxsyn Corp.

"We are excited about these developments, for our company and our shareholders, and we believe with Mesa’s great team, a great foundation for future growth is set," Paws Pet Co. CEO Dan Wiesel said. "With the execution of this agreement, the way forward for Paws is clear, and we will now focus on completing the licensing process, domesticating the company in Nevada and changing our name to Praxsyn Corp."

 

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Teva CEO steps down

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ president and CEO has stepped down, the Israeli drug maker said.

Teva announced the resignation of Jeremy Levin and that the board of directors had named EVP and CFO Eyal Desheh as interim president and CEO. Desheh has worked at Teva for more than 12 years, serving as CFO for the last five.

"Since I joined Teva, we have made tremendous progress in setting a new course for the company," Levin said. "I wish the company and its people, who I respect greatly, every success. I look forward to pursuing new opportunities where I can continue to apply my experience and contribute to the evolution of the global pharmaceutical industry."

Teva is the world’s largest producer of generic drugs and in recent years has also branched into branded products, including complex specialty drugs like the multiple sclerosis treatment Copaxone (glatiramer acetate). The company said earlier this month that it would reduce its workforce by about 10% through 2014, laying off about 5,000 employees and cutting "oversized" parts of its business.

"On behalf of the entire board of directors, I would like to thank Dr. Jeremy Levin for his meaningful contribution to Teva during the last two years," board chairman Phillip Frost said. "The board and management team are fully committed to the implementation of Teva’s strategy, including the development of new compounds, making strategic acquisitions, forming joint ventures and the planned acceleration of the company’s cost-reduction program."

 

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