M Pharmaceutical acquires ToConceive personal lubricant
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – M Pharmaceutical earlier this week closed its previously announced agreement to acquire from ToConceive the rights to an FDA-approved personal lubricant, used as a natural conception lubricant and as an infertility treatment.
“In 2010 the Nobel Prize in Medicine for In Vitro Fertilization emphasized the importance of Sperm Capacitation – the process when a women’s natural conception lubrication, transudate, dissolves the immobilizing cholesterol from the sperm and creates an enzyme to allow the sperm to fertilize the ovum – for successful conception," noted Gary Thompson, CEO M Pharma USA. "This essential capacitation step is inadequate or missing in many couples due to the women’s limited production of transudate," he said.
“This acquisition is our entry into the women’s health market to complement our existing obesity portfolio and has a 510K FDA clearance, is protected by four USPTO patents, and is clinically proven to increase a women’s production of transudate," Thompson added. "This increase in transudate results in significantly higher success rates for couples trying to conceive without the added expense, or stress, associated with assisted reproduction treatments.”
Pfizer exploring OTC divestiture? RB, Sanofi most likely suitors
NEW YORK – Pfizer CEO and chairman Ian Read may have hinted earlier this month at the company's interest in divesting its consumer health unit, which recent reports value at $14 billion.
"The consumer business [is] a valuable business," Read told analysts during the company's discussion on its third quarter results. "It's growing well. We're investing. We've made acquisitions. But like all our businesses, we all look at them and we subject them to tests of are they worth more inside or outside of Pfizer?" he said. "And we'll continue to run those tests."
According to Kline Group, Pfizer's consumer business boasts annual sales of about $1.4 billion in manufacturer-level sales and ranks No. 4 behind Johnson & Johnson/McNeil, Bayer (which recently acquired Merck's consumer business) and GSK Consumer Healthcare (which recently entered into a joint venture with Novartis on its collective consumer businesses).
Reuters on Wednesday confirmed that Pfizer is in fact exploring the possibility of a divestiture of its OTC business. That exploration is still in its early stages, cautioned Reuters' sources, and the company could determine that keeping the OTC business may be in the best interest of the company.
But should they decide to sell, the most likely suitor to a Pfizer acquisition would be Reckitt Benckiser, suggested Laura Mahecha, Kline Group Healthcare Industry Manager.
A combined RB-Pfizer entity would leapfrog J&J to become the top OTC player in Kline Group's ranking of OTC manufacturers, as measured by manufacturer-level sales. "That makes the most sense in terms of what RB would need to be a top player in the OTC world." Reckitt has in the past expressed interest in large OTC acquisitions, and has pulled the trigger on some of those acquisition targets, including the Schiff business, Mahecha said.
And the respective portfolios would appear to match well, Mahecha added, gaining RB significant entry into OTC pain and digestives. Pfizer's Advil is the No. 1 pain reliever in the U.S., with sales of $449.6 million for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 2, according to IRI across total U.S. multi-outlet channels.
Pfizer's antacid brand Nexium 24HR also holds the top spot in that category with sales of $311.3 million, up 6.4%, in that period. Pfizer's Centrum multivitamin brand is second in multivitamin sales only to Bayer's One-A-Day franchise, but that brand commands a sales volume of $286.5 million on 3.3% growth.
However, RB's penetration into the upper respiratory business with Mucinex and Delsym may be seen as a hurdle in acquiring Pfizer's Robitussin and Dimetapp cough/cold lineups. And RB boasts a healthy multivitamin brand in Airborne, which generated $126.7 million on 1.5% growth for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 2.
Sanofi, No. 7 on Kline Group's list of top U.S. OTC manufacturers, would be another possible suitor that comes to mind, Mahecha said.
Walgreens, Vitamin Angels celebrate 100 million lives changed
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Vitamin Angels on Thursday acknowledged the landmark achievement of reaching 100 million mothers and children with life-saving supplementation made through its collaboration with Walgreens by spotlighting one of the 100 million mothers and children reached thanks to the relationship.
"We're extremely grateful for the support from Walgreens customers and employees, and their participation in the Vitamin Angels program, as together we are making a difference, helping impact lives around the world," said Robert Tompkins, Walgreens group VP and general merchandise manager, health and wellness. "It's great to see how we've helped millions of people in need through this program, which also supports our efforts to improve population health, particularly within underserved communities."
Priscilla, a four-year-old girl who Vitamin Angels met in Uganda last year, is a shining example of the power of vitamins. Her grandmother, Edinansi, reported that since Priscilla began receiving vitamin A and deworming tablets two years ago, her energy and general health have greatly improved. Edinansi, inspired by the transformation, has become a community advocate for supplementation, pointing to her healthy, vibrant granddaughter as an example of how beneficial these vitamins can be.
Echoing a sentiment foundational to Vitamin Angels' mission, Edinansi shared, "prevention is better than having to cure." She also often travels door-to-door to spread the word, motivated by her belief that "the children thrive when they are healthy."
"Helping Priscilla have a chance to lead a healthy and productive life reminds us of the power of vitamins," stated Howard Schiffer, president Vitamin Angels. "Knowing that vitamins are the least expensive and most effective way to end preventable childhood deaths shows us that change is possible. Having Walgreens help us to reach 100 million mothers and children in a few short years highlights what can happen when organizations with a shared mission join together for a common good. Together, we are making healthy children and happy moms a reality everywhere. This is a phenomenal accomplishment."
Through its collaboration with Walgreens, Vitamin Angels has supplied vitamins that prevent blindness and other serious conditions associated with childhood undernutrition to 100 million mothers and children, like Priscilla, worldwide. Over the past two years, Walgreens has donated one percent of retail sales from vitamin and supplement purchases, culminating in a total of more than $25 million as of September 2016. Achieving its goal months ahead of schedule, Walgreens continues to work with Vitamin Angels to reach more children in need through the program.