PHARMACY

Pfizer buying ADHD drug maker

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pfizer is buying the maker of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug for almost $700 million, Pfizer said Monday.

The drug maker announced that it would buy privately owned NextWave Pharmaceuticals, which makes the extended-release ADHD drug Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride), which the Food and Drug Administration approved last month. The drug is expected to appear in pharmacies in January 2013.

Pfizer made an option payment of $20 million in second quarter 2012 as part of an option and merger agreement with NextWave and will pay $255 million to NextWave’s shareholders when the deal closes, with shareholders receiving additional drug-sales milestone payments of up to $425 million.

"This agreement demonstrates our focused expansion of the established products U.S. brands business to offer a diverse portfolio of high-quality medicines that meet patients’ needs," Pfizer Established Products Business Unit president and general manager Albert Bourla said. "By combining the advantages of Quillivant XR with Pfizer’s commercial expertise, we will be able to provide ADHD patients and their caregivers a new treatment option."


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PHARMACY

Watson, Actavis divest more drugs as condition for FTC merger approval

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK – Watson Pharmaceuticals and Actavis will have to divest rights to almost two dozen drugs as a condition for U.S. regulatory approval of their $5.6 billion merger announced earlier this year, according to regulatory documents.

The Federal Trade Commission is requiring the companies to sell to Sandoz — Swiss drug maker Novartis’ generics division — generic versions of GlaxoSmithKline’s antidepressant Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) extended-release tablets; Valeant’s hypertension and angina drug Tiazac (diltiazem hydrochloride) extended-release capsules; and the anxiety drug lorazepam. The companies must also divest rights to GlaxoSmithKline’s hypertension drug Dynacirc (isradipine) capsules and Watson’s schizophrenia drug Loxitane (loxapine succinate) capsules while changing a contract between Actavis and Pfizer concerning the former’s authorized generic version of an extended-release painkiller containing morphine sulfate and naltrexone, transferring the manufacturing rights back to Pfizer and eliminating Actavis’ exclusive right to market the drug.

The rights to these drugs are being divested in addition to the 14 drugs that Watson and Actavis agreed to sell to Par Pharmaceutical Cos. last week as a condition for the merger.


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Astellas bladder drug made available in U.S.

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — The U.S. subsidiary of Japanese drug maker Astellas Pharma has made a drug for overactive bladder available in U.S. pharmacies, the company said.

Astellas Pharma US announced the availability of Myrbetriq (mirabegron) extended-release tablets. The drug is used to treat OAB with symptoms of urge urinary incontinence, urgency and urinary frequency. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug on June 28, 2012.

"The availability of Myrbetriq marks an important milestone in our ongoing commitment to urology," Astellas SVP sales and marketing Jim Robinson said. "We are pleased to now be able to provide a portfolio of treatment options for those living with overactive bladder."


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