PHARMACY

FDA accepts application for Sciele/Summers novel head lice treatment

BY Adam Kraemer

ATLANA Sciele Pharma announced that the Food and Drug Administration has accepted Summers Laboratories’ application for a head lice asphyxiation product that utilizes a novel mechanism of action.

Upon FDA approval, it will be the first prescription medication that kills head lice by asphyxiation instead of utilizing a neurotoxic pesticide. The prescription lice treatment market generated approximately $50 million in sales last year, according to IMS Health data, and Sciele estimates that the over-the-counter lice treatment market is several times larger.

Sciele reported that the new product is a simple, water-based, water-soluble gel, similar in consistency to a hair conditioner. It consists of a mixture of dermatological and cosmetic ingredients. Lice need oxygen to live and breathe through sophisticated spiracles. Lice can close their spiracles and go into suspended animation for many hours. This novel product contains a naturally occurring monohydric aralkyl alcohol, which prevents lice from closing their spiracles, thereby asphyxiating the lice within ten minutes.

Sciele acquired the rights to this product for the United States, Canada and Mexico, and Summers submitted its application for this patented treatment on June 15, 2007.

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P&G announces Gorman, 70, to step down from board of directors

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble has announced that Joseph T. Gorman, in accordance with the company’s customary retirement age for directors, has announced his intention to retire effective October 2007 Gorman, who has been a director since 1993, will turn 70 on Oct. 1.

“Joe Gorman has served P&G’s board with distinction for more than 14 years. Among his many contributions, he has served as chair of the Fnance Committee and a member of the Compensation & Leadership Development Committee,” stated A.G. Lafley, P&G’s chairman and chief executive. “We have benefited greatly from his long experience and seasoned counsel. We will miss him, and wish him continued success.”

Gorman is the retired chairman and chief executive of TRW, an automotive, aerospace and information systems company. He currently serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Moxahela Enterprises LLC, a venture capital firm. He also serves as a director of Alcoa Inc., Imperial Chemical Industries plc, Tonsburg Magnesium Group International AB, and Vector Intersect Security Acquisition Corp.

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Eli Lilly looking to new blood-thinner to be best seller

BY Adam Kraemer

By early November, Eli Lilly hopes to release results of a large patient trial of prasugrel, the most important experimental drug in its pipeline. Prasugrel is a blood-thinning agent designed to prevent recurring heart attacks and strokes in people with cardiovascular disease, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.

Plavix, the current leading blood thinner, generated nearly $6 billion in sales last year for its co-marketers, Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Lilly and its Japanese development partner, Daiichi Sankyo Co., hope their drug will steal some market share from Plavix—if it receives regulatory approval.

Lilly hopes to submit prasugrel for Food and Drug Administration approval by the end of this year. If the drug gets timely FDA approval, it could hit the market in 2008. Initially, the approved uses for prasugrel would be narrower than those for Plavix, but Lilly and Daiichi might seek additional approvals later.

One reason that Lilly is betting so much on prasugrel is that its current best seller, the antipsychotic Zyprexa, is set to lose U.S. patent protection in 2011. Zyprexa generated more than one-fourth of Lilly’s total revenue last year, or about $4.4 billion. Lilly needs another big seller on the market before much of Zyprexa’s sales are lost to cheaper, generic competition.

Lilly is trying to downplay prasugrel’s importance in their pipeline. “While it’s a very important compound in late-stage development, it’s not the only product in late-stage development,” chief financial officer Derica Rice told the Journal. He said the company is developing an inhaled form of insulin for diabetics, as well as an injectable form of Zyprexa.

In the meantime, Bristol-Myers Squibb is watching as closely as Lilly at the prasugrel study results. Plavix last year accounted for approximately 18 percent of its revenue, according to the Journal.

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