HEALTH

Perrigo settles omeprazole patent case with AstraZeneca

BY Michael Johnsen

ALLEGAN, Mich. Perrigo on Thursday announced that the company’s partner on store-brand omeprazole (the generic equivalent to Procter & Gamble’s Prilosec OTC) has settled its patent litigation with AstraZeneca, the original holder of the omeprazole patents.

While terms and conditions of the agreement have not been disclosed, the amicable settlement and dismissal with prejudice of the litigation will allow for commercialization of the product once Perrigo-partner Dexcel Pharma receives final regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Perrigo should be in a position to launch the product by the end of first quarter 2008, the company stated.

Under terms of an agreement between Dexcel and Perrigo, Perrigo will be the exclusive marketer and distributor for the store brand omeprazole. Perrigo expects full-year annual sales for the product to be in the range of $150 million to $200 million.

Prilosec OTC is indicated for the treatment of frequent heartburn and had estimated annual sales of approximately $750 million in all outlets, Perrigo reported.

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SinoFresh signs leter-of-intent with National Starch and Chemical

BY DSN STAFF

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. SinoFresh HealthCare earlier this week announced its non-binding letter-of-intent signed with National Starch and Chemical Co. to develop new versions of popular allergy-related over-the-counter medicines.

The company is targeting March 2008 for launch. 

The new products will utilize National Starch’s proprietary patented Proloc bio-adhesive technology to deliver the drug formulations. 

“In the United States, our current nasal spray has been aimed at helping the 37 million people who suffer from Chronic Sinusitis. By developing new and improved allergy-related formulations, we expect to help an additional 50 million people who suffer from allergies,” stated SinoFresh chief executive officer Charles Fust.

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Novartis introduces Canada’s Buckley’s cough medicine to U.S. market

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. Novartis is bringing Buckley’s, Canada’s No. 1 cough product—according to Information Resources, Inc. data for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 4—to the U.S. market. The brand will be introduced with two SKUs: a cough suppressant mixture and a chest congestion mixture that includes an expectorant.

Buckley’s point of differentiation is its bad taste with the slogan “It tastes awful. And it works.” The cough syrup is both sugar- and alcohol-free and includes camphor, Canadian fir balsam gum, pine needle oil and menthol.

To help generate interest in its U.S. debut, Novartis is sponsoring an online photo contest that invites people to post images of themselves tasting Buckley’s. The contest kicks off Nov. 5 and runs for one month. Entrants will have a chance to win an Alaskan Adventure vacation for two.

“There are two kinds of people in this world—those who what comfort when they are sick and those who want to get better,” stated Jose Rodriguez, Novartis Consumer Health vice president of marketing. “Buckley’s is for people who are focused on getting back to feeling like themsevels again quickly.”

According to Novartis, 65 percent of U.S. households purchased a cough remedy in the last year.

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