PHARMACY

Actavis partners with Poland’s Bioton to develop insulin products

BY Alaric DeArment

WARSAW, Poland — Iceland-based drug maker Actavis and Poland-based Bioton have formed a partnership that they said would "shake up" the diabetes market.

Actavis and Bioton announced the signing of a $73.3 million deal to develop, manufacture and commercialize insulin products, including insulin analogues. Of that, Actavis will pay $29.4 million to Bioton when the deal is signed, while the rest will consist of milestone payments.

Under the deal, Bioton will develop and manufacture the products, while Actavis will commercialize them under its brand in the United States, the European Union, Japan and several non-E.U. European countries. Both companies will sell the drugs under their respective brands in Poland.


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PHARMACY

Valeant withdraws acquisition offer for Ista

BY Allison Cerra

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Valeant Pharmaceuticals said it would not move forward in its pursuit of Ista Pharmaceuticals due to lack of progress.

The drug maker said it withdrew the acquisition offer of Ista, valued at $7.50 per share in cash. Valeant previously said that the offer would remain open until Jan. 31.

"As we stated last December, we were not interested in participating in a lengthy evaluation process and we are disappointed that the Ista team was not willing to fully explore our proposal by Jan. 31," Valeant chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said. "We continue to be disciplined on our [mergers and acquisitions] strategy and we are actively working on other opportunities that we believe can create value for our shareholders. We wish the Ista team well in their future endeavors."

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FDA approves Bydureon

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN DIEGO — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a long-acting injected diabetes drug made by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Alkermes, the two companies said.

The FDA approved Bydureon (exenatide), which the companies called the first once-weekly treatment for Type 2 diabetes. The drug will become available in February.

"With Bydureon, U.S. physicians can now choose a therapy that offers continuous blood sugar control in just one dose per week," University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill professor of medicine John Buse said in a statement on behalf of the companies. "New treatment options are essential for the millions of adults with Type 2 diabetes who continue to struggle to achieve optimal blood-sugar control."

Bydureon, an extended-release formulation of Byetta, was originally developed under an alliance between Amylin and Eli Lilly that started in 2002, but the two companies terminated the alliance in November 2011 after Lilly formed a diabetes partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim. The Lilly-BI partnership prompted a lawsuit from Amylin, though the companies agreed to settle it.


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