PHARMACY

Mylan launches generic Gleevec

BY David Salazar

HERTFORDSHIRE, England, and PITTSBURGH — Mylan is expanding its offering of oncology generics with its latest introduction. The company has launched its generic of Gleeven (imatinib mesylate) tablets.

The drug is approved to treat multiple indications, including several blood cancers, the company said. The drug had U.S. sales of approximately $1.7 billion for the 12 months ended July 31, according to QunitilesIMS data. The product will be available in 100- and 400-mg dosage strengths.

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The Jean Coutu Group acquired by Metro

BY Michael Johnsen

MONTREAL — Metro on Monday announced a deal to acquire the Jean Coutu Group for $3.6 billion, creating for a combined food and pharmacy retailer with annual sales of $12.8 billion. As part of the deal, Metro will acquire more than 400 Canadian drug stores and a distribution center.

"Bringing together our two highly-respected and longstanding Quebec brands represents an exciting milestone in the history of the Jean Coutu Group," stated Jean Coutu, chairman of the Jean Coutu Group. "I am confident that this combination will ensure the safeguard of our entrepreneurial vision and corporate values as well as the perennial strength of the brand and will enable us to pursue our growth plan."

"We're honored to become the steward of the iconic Jean Coutu Group brand and we intend to build on this exceptional legacy," added Eric La Fleche, president and CEO Metro. "It is a unique opportunity to bring together each company's expertise to better serve the growing consumer demand for healthier choices, value and convenience," he said. "The Jean Coutu Group's extensive retail network and state-of-the-art distribution center will provide us with increased scale and reach, operational efficencies and enhanced growth potential."

Metro's existing pharmacy distribution and franchising activities will be combined with those of the Jean Coutu Group, which will operate as a stand-alone division of Metro with its own management team led by Francois Coutu.

The combined business will have an overall network of more than 1,300 stores in Canada, with 677 drug stores.

 

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Amgen, Abbvie settlement sets stage for Humira biosimilar launch in 2023

BY David Salazar

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Humira manufacturer AbbVie and Amgen, maker of Humira biosimilar Amjevita (sometimes spelled Amgevita), have reached a settlement that will allow the biosimilar to launch — but not for several years. The settlement will see AbbVie granting Amgen a non-exclusive license to its Humira intellectual property on certain dates in certain countries, with the license period set to begin on Jan. 31, 2023.

Also under the agreement, Amgen will pay undisclosed royalties to AbbVie. As a result of the settlement, all litigation between the two companies has been dismissed, with Amgen acknowledging the validity of AbbVie’s intellectual property relating to Humira.

“We look forward to leveraging our existing biologics capabilities to bring high-quality biosimilars to patients worldwide. Amgevita will be one of our first biosimilar launches, and this agreement will allow us to secure a strong foothold in the $4 billion European adalimumab market," Amgen VP and GM biosimilars Scott Foraker said “Building on our strong inflammatory disease presence in the United States, we are excited to develop our inflammation capabilities in Europe, extending our reach and helping more patients gain access to this important class of therapies.”

AbbVie EVP external affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary Laura Schumacher said, “We are pleased to have reached this settlement with Amgen which respects the breadth and strength of our intellectual property portfolio. … In reaching this agreement, we have achieved the balance between protecting investment in innovation and providing access to biosimilars, which will play an important role in our health care system. We will continue to defend our intellectual property and to reinvest in further advancements in medicine to bring choices to patients in need.”

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