PHARMACY

Cobalt dismisses generic Precose lawsuit against FDA

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON Cobalt has decided voluntarily to dismiss a lawsuit in which it had asked a court to restore its marketing exclusivity for a generic version of Bayer Pharmaceutical’s diabetes drug Precose.

The company said it was dismissing the case against the Food and Drug Administration without prejudice. Cobalt had brought the suit to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 8, alleging the agency had unlawfully forfeited the company’s 180-day marketing exclusivity for a generic version of Precose (acarbose).

Cobalt had maintained that it was the first company to file an application on the drug’s ‘769 patent, which has been removed from the Orange Book. However, the FDA informed Cobalt May 7 that it had forfeited its right to generic exclusivity.

Cobalt said in court documents the FDA acknowledged its actions had delayed the company’s ability to market the product, but the agency said Cobalt had forfeited its exclusivity because it failed to obtain final approval and launch within 30 months of its 2005 application submission.

Cobalt asked the court to enjoin the agency from approving all other applications for the drug “until natural expiration of Cobalt’s statutory right to exclusivity for its acarbose application.” It also requested that the FDA stay or withdraw approval for other acarbose applications, including one from Boehringer Ingelheim’s subsidiary Roxane, which the agency approved May 7. Finally, it asked the court to order the FDA to recall any acarbose product made by Roxane on the market.

The court declined to issue a temporary restraining order against Roxane, finding that under the language of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, Cobalt was unlikely to prevail in the case and Roxane would suffer “significant competitive injury,” Zuckerman Spaeder, the law firm representing Roxane, said.

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Takeda could see Alogliptin approval in near future

BY Alaric DeArment

OSAKA, Japan Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer Takeda’s new diabetes drug could get approval soon, according to Bloomberg.

According to the financial news agency, reports by analysts showed that the drug, alogliptin, had promise after the American Diabetes Association released parts of nine studies of the medication that were submitted for marketing approval in the U.S. in January, last week. They show the drug lowered blood sugar levels as much as Merck’s Januvia without serious side effects.

Alogliptin, also known as SYR-322, will compete with Merck’s Januvia and Novartis’ Galvus, which is also up for approval at the Food and Drug Administration. All three drugs are in a new class of diabetes treatments known as DPP4 inhibitors that signal the pancreas to produce more insulin and the liver to make less glucose, or blood sugar.

Assuming approval by the Food and Drug Administration, Alogliptin will succeed Actos, which generates about 29 percent of Takeda’s current revenue. Actos will lose patient approval in 2011.

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Accutane ingredient linked to increased risk of depression

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry has shown a link between use of the acne drug isotretinoin and increased risks of depression.

The drug was shown to more than double the risk of depression in a study of more than 30,000 people in Quebec who had received at least one prescription for it between 1984 and 2003.

Roche Pharmaceuticals’ drug Accutane has isotretinoin as its main active ingredient. The FDA originally granted approval to the drug in 1982.

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