PHARMACY

Dr. Reddy’s introduces generic Clolar injection

BY David Salazar

PRINCETON, N.J. — Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has launched its generic of Genzyme’s Clolar (clofarabine, 1 mg/ml) injection. The drug is indicated as a treatment for patients ages 1 to 21 years with relapsed or refractory lymphoblastic leukemia after two prior regimens.

The product had brand and generic sales of roughly $53 million for the 12 months ended September 2017, according to IQVIA data. The drug will be available in single-dose 20-ml vials.

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PHARMACY

Upsher-Smith parent Sawai inks deal with Sumitomo

BY David Salazar

Upsher-Smith parent Sawai

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Sawai Pharmaceuticals, the parent company of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, has announced a new strategic alliance with Japanese trading house Sumitomo. The alliance will see Sawai sell a 20% stake in its American subsidiary to Sumitomo’s U.S. arm for $211 million.

“Sumitomo's investment in our U.S. subsidiary and its management participation in Upsher-Smith will allow us to benefit from its experience, knowledge and network in the global business arena in areas such as sourcing of active pharmaceutical ingredients and product introduction,” Sawai president Mitsuo Sawai said. “By leveraging the unique strengths of the three companies, namely Sawai, Upsher-Smith and Sumitomo Corporation, we will continue to enhance our global presence, including the U.S. business, to accelerate growth with the goal of becoming ‘a globally recognized generics company.’”

Upsher-Smith said Sumitomo is known for its abilities to expedite ideas and distribute products through a global network of offices. Core business units of Sumitomo include tubular products, environment and infrastructure, steel and non-ferrous metals, transportation and construction systems and several others.

“We are excited by the potential of this partnership and look forward to increasing our capacity for acquisition and discovering broader strategic growth opportunities,” Upsher-Smith president and CEO Rusty Field said.

The sale is expected to close by the end of March 2018. 

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Trump nominates former Lilly president to HHS chief position

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — A former pharmaceutical industry executive who also served in the Dept. of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush has been nominated to lead the department. President Donald Trump on Monday named Alex Azar as his pick for secretary of health and human services.

Azar was president of Eli Lilly from 2012 until January 2017, having joined the company in 2007 as senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications. In 2009, he was promoted to the role of vice president of managed healthcare services and Puerto Rico.

Prior to joining Lilly, Azar was deputy secretary of health and human services from 2005 to 2007, following four years as the department’s general counsel. Since January, he has worked as chairman and founder of biopharmaceutical and health insurance strategic counseling and consulting company Seraphim Strategies. He also serves as a member of the HMS board of directors.

The announcement was made as Trump finishes up his 12-day trip to Asia, with the president tweeting that Azar “will be a star for better healthcare and lower drug prices!”

If confirmed by the Senate, Azar will succeed Tom Price at the helm of the Health and Human Services Department, following Price’s resignation at the end of September. Since Price left the department over controversy sparked by his use of private jets since his confirmation in May, it has been led by acting secretary Don Wright.

Azar is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School.

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