PHARMACY

Medical Futures gets license from Anesiva to market Zingo

BY Drew Buono

SAN FRANCISCO and RICHMOND HILL, Ontario Anesiva and Medical Futures have announced an agreement granting an exclusive license to Medical Futures for the marketing and distribution of Anesiva’s Zingo, a painkiller.

Under the terms of the agreement, Medical Futures will be responsible for all regulatory filings, marketing, distribution and selling in Canada. Under the scope of this agreement, Anesiva is entitled to an undisclosed up-front payment and a fixed transfer price. Medical futures will be responsible for all the costs associated with regulatory, distribution, marketing and selling activities.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Zingo in August to reduce the pain associated with peripheral IV insertions or blood draws in children 3 to 18 years of age. Anesiva said it expects Zingo will be available in the United States in the second quarter of 2008.

“We are aggressively pursuing licensing agreements worldwide for Zingo with the goal of making this drug globally available in an efficient manner in order to maximize its potential market share,” said John McLaughlin, chief executive officer of Anesiva. “Our collaboration with Medical Futures’ enthusiastic and capable team lays the groundwork for expanding access to this new needle-free technology to all of North America. We continue to build upon our previously announced plans to commercialize Zingo in the U.S., and ultimately provide additional value to our stockholders.”

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Court overturns $3 million jury award against Wyeth’s Prempro

BY Drew Buono

PHILADELPHIA A judge has overturned a jury’s decision to award a woman $3 million for claiming that Wyeth’s hormone-replacement drug Prempro caused her breast cancer, according to the Associated Press. The judge said the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence to show that the company acted negligently.

Only four of about 1,500 cases pending in Philadelphia have gone to trial. Each time, a jury sided with the plaintiff only to have the judge reverse the verdict, lawyer Tobi Millrood said. The plaintiff, Jennie Nelson plans on appealing the decision to the state Superior Court.

Nelson had claimed that she was diagnosed in 2001 after taking the drug for five years to treat symptoms of menopause. Her lawyers argued that the manufacturer Wyeth had knowledge the drug caused cancer, yet failed to issue adequate warnings.

This is in contrast to a recent decision in Nevada that saw Wyeth lose a verdict to three women who made the same claims. The women won $134 million in that case.

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Sun Pharma, Novartis reach agreement on Exelon

BY Drew Buono

MUMBAI, India Sun Pharmaceuticals and Novartis have reached an out-of-court settlement in relation to Novartis’ Alzheimer’s drug Exelon, according to published reports.

“Under the terms of the settlement, Sun Pharma will not market generic Exelon in the U.S. until sometime prior to the expiration of the patents covering Exelon. The specific date on which Sun may launch and the other terms of the agreement are confidential,” said Sun Pharma in a statement.

Sun Pharma, being one of the first to file an application to sell generic Exelon in the U.S, was eligible to share a 180-day marketing exclusivity on the drug. However, had it launched its generic version of Exelon before reaching an agreement with Novartis, it would have done so at risk of damage claims by Novartis for patent infringement.

Exelon had sales of about $200 million last year in the U.S.

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