PHARMACY

The Medicines Company readies deal to acquire Targanta

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. The Medicines Company will acquire Targanta Therapeutics Corp. under a merger deal announced Monday.

The Medicines Company said it would commence a tender offer to acquire 100 percent of Targanta’s outstanding shares. Targanta shareholders will receive $2 in cash up front for each common share tendered, totaling $42 million.

Shareholders may receive additional payments depending on the achievement of regulatory and commercial milestones for Targanta drugs.

“The Medicines Company is pleased to announce our agreement to add the assets and capabilities of Targanta,” Medicines Company chairman and CEO Clive Meanwell said in a statement. “The addition of Targanta’s oritavancin, a late-stage product, will be another step toward execution of our strategic plan to become a global leader in critical-care medicine.”

In December, the Food and Drug Administration denied approval of Targanta’s application for oritavancin, a treatment for complicated skin and skin structure infections and the company’s lead product candidate, requesting an additional phase 3 clinical trial that would include more patients with cSSSI resulting from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureas. Later that month, Targanta laid off 75 percent of its workforce.

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Assurant Health announces benefits partnership with Take Care

BY Antoinette Alexander

MILWAUKEE Assurant Health has announced that its health plan members can now receive in-network benefits at all Take Care Clinics.

With the addition of the 322 Take Care Clinics, which are located within Walgreens stores, Assurant Health customers with Individual Medical, Short Term Medical and Real Choices Small Group plans have access to more than 800 retail health clinics throughout the United States.

“This agreement is part of our continuing commitment to give our customers more choices and convenient access to affordable health care options,” said Scott Krienke, SVP of product lines for Assurant Health.

Added Peter Miller, president and CEO of Take Care Health Systems, “Our goal is to provide access to care to as many individuals as possible. Partnering with companies like Assurant Health allows us to offer our model of care to more individuals across the country, and this national contract sets the stage for continued coverage as we expand our model to new markets and states.”

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FDA approves generic version of Medicis’ Loprox

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of Medicis’ Loprox, FDA records show.

The agency approved Paddock’s ciclopirox gel in the 0.77 percent strength on Jan. 7. The gel is used to treat seborrheic dermatitis.

Medicis’ non-acne skin medicines had sales of $173 million in 2007, according to Medicis financial data, which did not list separate figures for Loprox. Nycomed also makes a generic version of the 0.77 formulation, while Medicis continues to market the 1 percent formulation.

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