PHARMACY

Perrigo announces record sales for Q2

BY Drew Buono

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo today announced the results of its second quarter fiscal year 2008 and the six months that ended Dec. 29, 2007.

Net sales for the second quarter were $435.5 million, a record and an increase of $64.9 million. For the six-month period, net sales were $818.2 million, an increase of 15 percent compared to last year.

The Rx pharmaceuticals segment reported sales of $38.7 million, an increase of $10.4 million compared with the $28.3 million of a year ago. The six-month period saw net sales of $73.6 million, an increase of $13.9 million from last year.

Perrigo chairman and chief executive officer, Joseph Papa, stated, “I am extremely pleased with our performance this quarter both financially and operationally. Record sales were achieved through double-digit sales growth in each of our business segments. Operating income grew 85 percent from last year on a 390 basis point improvement in gross margins. These improvements, along with continued focus on working capital, generated $67 million in cash flow from operations, up $43 million from last year. These results also come before the largest new product launch in our history, Omeprazole, which we expect to start shipping by the end of our third fiscal quarter.”

For the year 2008, the company expects to generate cash from operations in the range of $180 million to $200 million.

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Lilly and PsychoGenics partner on neuropsychiatric disorder treatments

BY Drew Buono

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. PsychoGenics and Eli Lilly have entered into a drug discovery agreement aimed at identifying drug candidates suitable for clinical developments.

Per the agreement, Lilly will supply precandidate compounds that PsychoGenics will evaluate using its proprietary drug discovery technologies for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Upon Lilly’s further development of clinical candidates, PsychoGenics would receive research and milestone payments, as well as royalties.

Emer Leahy, president and chief executive officer of PsychoGenics, said, “We are delighted to once again work with Lilly and play an integral and expanding role in a successful drug discovery collaboration. We are confident that by combining the complementary strengths and expertise of PsychoGenics and Lilly, we may identify a new generation of treatments for neuropsychiatric disorders.”

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Roche asks for clearance to bring Mircera to market

BY Drew Buono

BASEL, Switzerland Roche is asking a U.S. judge for clearance to sell an anti-anemia drug by offering a royalty to Amgen and offering the drug at a price that is lower than what Amgen charges for its top anemia drug, according to published reports.

Roche won regulatory approval for Mircera as a treatment for anemia associated with kidney disease in November. But it hasn’t brought the drug to market because it lost a civil trial in October in which a federal jury found Mircera violated patents held by Amgen. Amgen sells drugs Aranesp and Epogen to treat anemia associated with kidney disease and cancer chemotherapy.

Although Roche lost the patent trial to Amgen, it is now seeking permission from Judge William Young to bring Mircera to the market by arguing that it would serve the public interest. Roche also has proposed selling Mircera at an initial “wholesale acquisition cost” that is about 5 percent less than the current “average selling price” of Amgen’s Aranesp. Also, it would pay Amgen a royalty 20 percent of net sales of Mircera while Amgen’s patents are still enforced, assuming the original ruling of infringement stands.

Roche said it would begin taking steps to market Mircera if the judge doesn’t rule on Amgen’s injunction request on Feb. 28, when oral arguments are scheduled in the case. Roche would be doing this even though they would be at risk to pay Amgen penalties if the infringement case isn’t overturned.

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