PHARMACY

Merck closes Inspire acquisition

BY Allison Cerra

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Drug maker Merck has completed its acquisition of eye care company Inspire.

As previously reported, Merck announced its plan to acquire the company for $5 per share in cash, or $430 million. In addition, Monarch Transaction, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck, has merged with and into Inspire, with Inspire surviving as a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck, effective today.

“We are excited to complete this compelling and highly complementary acquisition of Inspire,” said Beverly Lybrand, SVP and general manager, neuroscience and ophthalmology at Merck. “The successful completion of this transaction strengthens our ophthalmology business and positions us for future growth with an expanded portfolio and a best in class commercialization organization.”

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Lilly to present cancer studies data at ASCO

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — Drug maker Eli Lilly will present data from more than 30 studies at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Chicago next month, the company said Monday.

Studies will include “PARAMOUNT,” a late-stage clinical trial investigating the drug Alimta (pemetrexed) in patients with advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, as well as studies on Gemzar (gemcitabine) and Erbitux (cetuximab) with partner companies Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck KGaA.

“Lilly Oncology is committed to exploring innovations that improve outcomes for all people living with cancer,” Lilly Oncology VP product development and regulatory affairs Richard Gaynor said. “We believe that data from PARAMOUNT, and our other studies at ASCO, demonstrate Lilly’s focus on tailored therapies and commitment to addressing unmet needs in cancer care.”

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Lilly launches TruAssist

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS — Drug maker Eli Lilly has launched what it’s calling an “umbrella” for its patient assistance programs.

Lilly subsidiary Lilly USA announced the launch of TruAssist, which comprises a website and call center for patients and healthcare providers to access information about programs the company provides to help increase access to Lilly medications. The website is at LillyTrueAssist.com, while the call center can be reached at 1-855-LLYTRUE (1-855-559-8783).

“In 2010, Lilly helped approximately 227,000 people in the United States obtain the Lilly medications they need,” Lilly U.S. medical division VP Jack Harris said. “With TruAssist, our goal is to further our commitment to improving patients’ lives by increasing awareness of these programs and giving healthcare providers and patients one easy-to-use resource for accessing them.”

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