Teva’s generic Effexor XR receives regulatory approval
SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic version of an extended-release antidepressant pill made by Pfizer, the agency said Tuesday.
The FDA approved Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ venlafaxine hydrochloride extended-release capsules. The capsules are a generic version of Effexor XR, used to treat major depressive disorder. The capsules will be available in the 37.5 mg, 75 mg and 150 mg strengths.
“The approval of this widely used antidepressant is another example of the FDA’s efforts to increase access to safe and effective generic drugs,” said Keith Webber, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Pharmaceutical Science deputy director. “Access to treatments for depression is important because depression can interfere with a person’s daily life and routine, which can significantly affect relationships with family and friends.”
Effexor products had sales of $520 million in 2009, according to Pfizer financial data.
Former Johnson & Johnson head dies at 94
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. A former leader of one of the largest health conglomerates in the world died Friday at 94.
Richard Sellars rose from junior salesman to chairman of the board and CEO during a career that spanned 40 years at Johnson & Johnson. Sellars joined Johnson & Johnson’s sales force in 1939, and began a rapid rise within two of the company’s major affiliates, Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp. and Ethicon. He became president of the company in 1970, and chairman of the board one year later. In 1973, he became chairman and CEO, a position he held until his retirement from that post in 1976. From then until his retirement in 1979, Sellars served as chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s finance committee. One of his many accomplishments while at Johnson & Johnson was being part of the New Brunswick Tomorrow project to revitalize the city that held the company’s headquarters.
“Richard Sellars was an inspirational leader who filled all who met him with a deep sense of the company’s responsibility to its customers, employees, community and shareholders,” said William Weldon, chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson. “He will be missed.”
Sellars is survived by his wife, Doris, four children, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Gilead to acquire CGI
FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences plans to acquire a development-stage pharmaceutical company for up to $120 million, Gilead said Friday.
Privately held CGI Pharmaceuticals has developed a library of drugs that have potential to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The majority of the $120 million will be an upfront payment, and the remaining will be based on clinical development progress, Gilead said.
“The acquisition of CGI represents a unique opportunity to expand our research efforts in an interesting and promising area of drug discovery,” Gilead EVP research and development and chief scientific officer Norbert Bischofberger said.