PHARMACY

Biovail, Watson reach agreement on generic Cardizem

BY Adam Kraemer

TORONTO Biovail Corp. said Tuesday it has settled legal action with Watson Pharmaceuticals over a generic version of Biovail’s Cardizem LA blood pressure drug.

Under the terms of the agreement, Biovail will receive a royalty based on sales of Watson’s generic formulation of Biovail’s once-daily version of Cardizem (diltiazem). Watson will not commence marketing and sales of its generic product until April 1, 2009, at which time royalty payments will begin.

Biovail has also granted Watson an exclusive license to its U.S. patents covering Cardizem LA for a generic version of the drug.

The settlement between Toronto-based Biovail and California-based Watson is subject to court approval, and will be submitted to the U.S. assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

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Mylan’s nebivolol receives approvable letter from FDA, efficacy not at issue

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Mylan’s new anti-hypertension drug has received a nearly green light from the Food and Drug Administration.

While an approvable letter from the FDA did not raise any questions related to safety or efficacy of nebivol, a novel beta blocker, Mylan and its licensing partner, Forest Laboratories, did report that final marketing approval would depend on the duo’s ability to resolve deficiencies in its manufacturing facility in Belgium, issues which the letter addressed.

At this time, the companies and the FDA have agreed upon product labeling text and the proposed brand name is currently Bystolic.

The companies anticipate an expeditious resolution to this issue, and Forest continues to plan for a Jan 2008 launch meeting for Bystolic.

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Caraco receives tentative FDA approval for generic Lexapro

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The FDA has granted tentative approval for Caraco’s abbreviated new drug application for escitalopram oxalate tablets (escitalopram), 5 mg, 10 mg and 20 mg.

Escitalopram is indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder and is the generic bioequivalent of Forest Laboratories’ Lexapro.

Caraco and Forest Laboratories have been involved in a patent litigation over the generic Lexapro since July. Lexapro tablets had U.S. sales of approximately $2.5 billion for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, Caraco said.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this tentative approval,” said Caraco’s chief executive officer, Daniel Movens. “The ANDA was filed with a Paragraph IV certification that we do not infringe Forest’s Lexapro patents or that they are invalid. As previously disclosed, we are currently involved in litigation with Forest Laboratories that will determine whether we may launch our generic product prior to the expiration of these patents. Though the outcome of this litigation is uncertain, we remain confident in our position and continue to expect a favorable conclusion.”

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