PHARMACY

Idera, Merck get antitrust clearance for $400 million-plus deal

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Idera Pharmaceuticals has received clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act for its worldwide licensing and collaboration agreement with Merck, according to published reports. The deal could be worth more than $400 million.

Idera will exclusively license its DNA-based compounds, Toll-like Receptor 9 agonists IMO-2055 and IMO-2125, to Merck for use in cancer treatments. Idera will exclusively retain the rights to the drugs as a use for cancer vaccines. Merck will pay Idera $40 million upfront and up to $381 million in milestone payments as well as royalties should the products reach the market.

The drugs included in the deal include IMO-2055, which is in a phase IIa trial in patients with renal-cell carcinoma. IMO-2055 is currently in a phase Ib trial in combination with Genentech’s Avastin and Pharmaceutical’s Tarceva in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer as well as in a phase I trial in combination with chemotherapy agents in patients with difficult-to-treat solid tumors.

The other drug, IMO-2125 is in a phase I trial in patients with chronic hepatitis C who have had no success with standard treatment—an indication that will not be part of the Merck agreement.

With the receipt of the Hart-Scott clearance, Idera said the agreement is now in effect and it is entitled to receive the upfront licensing fee of $40 million from Merck.

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Parata launches PACMED C30 packaging technology

BY Drew Buono

DURHAM, N.C. Parata Systems has launched its new product, the PACMED C30, which is a packaging technology used to extend the safety and convenience of its onePAC packaging system.

onePac is a strip that contains information like patients’ medications, patient names, pill descriptions and time of day to take a dose of the medication. On the strip, up to 19 lines of information can be held. The goal of the strips are to remind patients who take multiple medications when to take what medications and how much of each medication.

The PACMED C30 expands on the technology of the onePAC by combining multiple onePAC strips together for easy access by patients. PACMED C30 is efficient and accurate, generating up to 60 unit-dose or 50 multi-dose packages a minute.

“Adherence is a critical touch point in the circle of pharmacy care, and Parata’s launch of PACMED C30 offers an exciting new way for pharmacies to extend their care by improving patient adherence, safety and convenience,” says Tom Rhoads, executive vice president for customer and market strategies at Parata Systems.

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Teva announces availablility of generic Fosamax

BY Drew Buono

NORTH WALES, Pa. Teva has announced the introduction and availability of alendronate sodium tablets.

This is the generic version of the osteoporosis drug Fosamax by Merck. The drug will be available in 5 mg, 10 mg, 35 mg, 40 mg and 70 mg strengths.

“Our customers count on Teva for a continuous supply of new generic products,” stated John Denman, vice president of sales and marketing. “With the launch of alendronate sodium tablets, we add another quality product to our broad line of affordable generic pharmaceuticals.”

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