PHARMACY

Covis buys rights to five drugs from Sanofi

BY Alaric DeArment

ZUG, Switzerland — Swiss drug maker Covis Pharma will buy U.S. rights to five drugs from Sanofi, Covis said Thursday.

The drug maker said it would buy full commercial rights to the prostate cancer drug Nilandron (nilutamide); the antimalarial, lupus and arthritis drug Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine); Rilutek (riluzole), used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease; the enlarged prostate drug Uroxatral (alfuzosin hydrochloride); and the high-potassium drug Kayexalate (sodium polystyrene sulfate), under an agreement with Sanofi subsidiary Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the drugs had sales of $114.6 million in 2012, Covis said.

"We are very pleased to announce the addition of these products to our existing portfolio," Covis CEO Jack Davis said. "Covis will continue to supply consistent, top-quality branded drugs, ensuring that patients receive the therapeutic care they need."

 

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PHARMACY

Reports: Novartis launches new ad campaign aimed at young adults

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Novartis is promoting the multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya to young people with a new ad campaign in several national magazine’s and websites, according to published reports.

The New York Times reported that the Swiss drug maker had placed ads for its "Hey MS, Take This!" campaign in People, Shape and Self, as well as the website of women’s magazines, in addition to online videos. The generic name of Gilenya is fingolimod.

The ads feature images of several young people in their 20s and 30s sticking their tongues out to show white pills. The newspaper quoted a Novartis executive as saying that many people are now being diagnosed with the disease in their 20s and 30s and that early treatment has the strongest effect.

 

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Valeant earnings per share could take hit in 2013 from herpes ointment generic

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTREAL — The Food and Drug Administration approval this week of a generic genital herpes ointment made by Mylan could make a slight dent in the stock price of the company that makes the branded version.

Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International said that while it expected Mylan to receive approval for a generic version of Zovirax (acyclovir) ointment, it did not include the approval in its original budget expectations and thus expected its earnings per share in fiscal year 2013 to be reduced by 30 to 40 cents.

"But there are other actions, such as several product acquisitions, the replacing of our term loan debt and continued operational performance that have occurred since we provided financial guidance in January, and we believe that these activities will mitigate the impact of the generalization of Zovirax ointment," Valeant chairman and CEO J. Michael Pearson said. "We continue to expect once again to deliver outstanding performance in 2013, and we will provide an update to our 2013 guidance on our first quarter financial results conference call in May."


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