PHARMACY

Savient’s Krystexxa launches in the United States

BY Allison Cerra

EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Savient said its newest drug is the first and only therapy available to treat chronic gout in adult patients refractory to conventional therapy.

The drug maker announced the U.S. commercial launch of Krystexxa (pegloticase).

"Since receiving FDA approval for Krystexxa, we have focused on preparing for a successful U.S. launch," said John Johnson, Savient CEO. "Our sales force has completed very thorough and extensive training. We are excited to deploy this highly talented and biologics experienced team into their territories. There has never been a more exciting time in the history of Savient, nor for the chronic gout patients, who have waited so long for a therapy that has the potential to change the course of their lives."

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Par sees sales gains across all sectors

BY Alaric DeArment

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. — Generic drug maker Par Pharmaceutical Cos. had sales of $227 million during fourth quarter 2010 and $1 billion for the year as a whole, according to an earnings statement Thursday.

Profits were $17.5 million for the quarter and $92.7 million for the year, compared with $10.7 million in fourth quarter 2009 and $76.9 million for 2009 as a whole.

Leading products for the year included metoprolol succinate, a generic version of AstraZeneca’s high blood pressure treatment Toprol XL, which had sales of $73 million for the quarter and $473.2 million for the year; as well as sumatriptan, a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s migraine treatment Imitrex, which had sales of $19.9 million during the quarter and $73 million for the year as a whole.

Among branded products, the breast cancer treatment Megace ES (megestrol) had sales of $14.8 million for the quarter and $60.9 million for the year, while the vitamin B12 deficiency treatment Nascobal B12 (cyanocobalamin) nasal spray had sales of $4.8 million for the quarter and $17.7 million for the year.

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Novo Nordisk develops treatment for rarest bleeding disorder, seeks FDA approval

BY Alaric DeArment

PRINCETON, N.J. — Novo Nordisk has filed for approval of a treatment for a rare genetic bleeding disorder, the Danish drug maker said Wednesday.

The company submitted to the Food and Drug Administration its application for recombinant factor XIII compound, for congenital factor XIII deficiency. Current treatments for FXIII deficiency use products derived from human blood plasma, which carries the risk of contamination.

Congenital factor XIII deficiency is considered the rarest bleeding disorder, with only 600 people diagnosed worldwide. Patients with the disease, which results from a lack of the protein clotting factor XIII, have a lifelong susceptibility to bleeding problems, including spontaneous hemorrhages in the brain.

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