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Watson seeks approval for generic antidepressant

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals is challenging the patent protection on an antidepressant made by Pfizer, the company said.

Watson filed a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for desvenlafaxine succinate extended-release tablets in the 50-mg and 100-mg strengths. The drug is a generic version of Pfizer’s Pristiq.

Watson’s application included a paragraph IV certification, a legal assertion that patents covering the branded drug are invalid, unenforceable or won’t be infringed, and the company said it was the first to file a complete application for a generic version of Pristiq. In response, Pfizer and others filed suit against Watson Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to try and prevent Watson from commercializing its product before the expiration of U.S. Patent No. 6,673,838, which is set to expire in 2022. The suit puts a stay of approval on Watson’s drug until August 2015 or until the companies settle the case.

Pristiq had sales of about $559 million during the 12-month period ended in April, according to IMS Health.


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Fancy Feast launches Mornings gourmet cat food entrees

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Fancy Feast has introduced new breakfast-inspired meals for cats.

New Fancy Feast Mornings gourmet cat food includes six varieties, such as:

  • Souffle with white meat chicken, garden veggies and egg;

  • Souffle with turkey, garden veggies and egg;

  • Souffle with wild salmon, garden veggies and egg;

  • Medley with white meat chicken, garden veggies and egg in sauce;

  • Medley with trout, garden veggies and egg in sauce; and

  • Medley with wild salmon, garden veggies and egg in sauce.

The new Fancy Feast Mornings gourmet cat food entrees are available in stores nationwide for the suggested retail price of 80 cents to 89 cents per can.

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FDA approves new Daiichi Sankyo plant

BY Alaric DeArment

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new Daiichi Sankyo manufacturing center that the company said would strengthen its domestic and global supply chain.

The Japan-based drug maker said it received FDA approval to package products at the plant, in Bethlehem, Pa. The company said it would be the first noncontracted U.S. manufacturing operation. The plant employs 39 people, and there are plans to hire more.

The 140,000-sq.-ft. plant will package some of Daiichi Sankyo’s cardiovascular and metabolic drugs, including treatments for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and lipid disorders.


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