Roche hopes to expand its presence in diabetes market with Medingo acquisition
BASEL, Switzerland Roche plans to pay more than $100 million for a company that’s developing a semi-disposable insulin patch pump, the Swiss drug maker announced Tuesday.
Roche said it would acquire all of Medingo, a subsidiary of Israeli conglomerate Elron, for $160 million plus up to 25% of that in performance-related milestones. The patch is a micro-pump delivery system that combines a semi-disposable insulin-dispensing patch and a remote control allowing for personalized insulin delivery. Medingo expects to launch the patch in 2012.
“Diabetes has become a real epidemic that affects more than 285 million people worldwide,” Roche Diagnostics COO Daniel O’Day said. “With this acquisition, we will broaden our portfolio of innovative insulin delivery technologies and strengthen our position as a leading player in the diabetes care business.”
FDA tentatively approves Sun’s Namenda generic
MUMBAI, India The Food and Drug Administration has given tentative approval to a generic Alzheimer’s disease drug made by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Sun announced Saturday.
The FDA gave the tentative approval to Sun’s memantine tablets in the 5-mg and 10-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Forest Labs’ Namenda, which has annual U.S. sales of around $1.2 billion, according to Sun.
A tentative approval means that a generic drug meets the FDA’s conditions for approval, but the agency cannot grant final approval until the branded drug’s patents expire. Forest’s patent for Namenda expires in April 2015, according to FDA data.
Meijer offering free metformin to customers
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer announced plans Monday to begin offering metformin immediate release, one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for Type 2 diabetes, at no cost to those with a prescription.
Meijer’s program — which will include doses prescribed in 500-mg, 850-mg and 1,000-mg tablets — joins other Meijer healthy-living initiatives designed to provide no-cost medicine to shoppers, including such initiatives as free children’s antibiotics and prenatal vitamins for women with a prescription. To date, Meijer has filled more than 5 million free antibiotic prescriptions, and more than 500,000 prescriptions for free prenatal vitamins. Combined, Meijer has provided a total cost savings to consumers of more than $90 million.
Meijer is one of several store chains that recently has announced free metformin offerings for customers. Last month, Publix launched a multifaceted program designed to assist customers and associates living with diabetes.
“Meijer is pleased to add metformin immediate release to our free medication program,” said Effie Steele, clinical services coordinator for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “As our population ages, Type 2 diabetes cases continue to grow. Adding metformin immediate release to Meijer’s free medication program, while providing other ways to manage diabetes through the various healthy living solutions offered in our stores, reinforces our commitment to promote healthy lifestyles for all of our customers.”