GlaxoSmithKline has identified more than 5,500 rare diseases it potentially could target as part of a new drug-development initiative, the British drug maker announced. GSK said it would start a stand-alone business unit specializing in creating drugs for treating rare diseases, many of them genetic disorders. The company will work with Netherlands-based Prosensa and Japan-based JCR Pharmaceuticals, which it entered collaborations with in 2009. The Prosensa partnership focuses on nucleic-acid-based drugs for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. With JCR, GSK will help develop drugs for Hunter syndrome, Fabry disease and Gaucher disease.
Pfizer has filed a lawsuit against Mylan following a challenge to its patent for a cardiovascular drug, Mylan said. Pfizer filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware after Mylan filed for regulatory approval of a generic version of Caduet (amlodipine besylate and atorvastatin calcium). Mylan said it was the first company to file for approval of a generic version of Caduet, which entitles it to six months’ market exclusivity in which to directly compete with the branded drug after Pfizer’s patents expire in 2018.
Mylan seeks approval for the drug in the 2.5-mg/10-mg, 2.5-mg/20-mg, 2.5-mg/40-mg, 5-mg/10-mg, 5-mg/20-mg, 5-mg/40-mg 5-mg/80-mg, 10-mg/10-mg, 10-mg/20-mg, 10-mg/40-mg and 10-mg/80-mg strengths.
Caduet had sales of about $65.6 million for the 2.5-mg/10-mg, 2.5-mg/20-mg, 2.5-mg/40-mg and 10-mg/40-mg strengths in 2009, according to IMS Health.
Cephalon plans to buy Switzerland-based Mepha, a private company that makes more than 120 generics and branded generics, for $590 million, the U.S. drug maker announced. Mepha had sales of 400 million Swiss francs (approx. US$374.25 million) in 2009. Cephalon said the acquisition would diversify its business mix, double the size of its international business and provide a platform for launching current and future products in new, developed and emerging markets.
Bashas’ rejects Albertsons’ buyout bid
NEW YORK Bashas’ has turned down a nearly $300 million buyout offer from Albertsons, according to published reports.
According to an American City Business Journals article, the Chandler, Ariz.-based Bashas’ was uninterested in a buyout offer of $290 million for the chain.
Bashas’ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, announcing the following month that it would close 14 stores. Still, the published reports quoted an attorney representing the company as saying that the reorganization plan would ensure Bashas’ remained in the hands of the Bashas family, which has owned it since 1932.
Shoppers’ new initiatives sets chain up to become retail giant
WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT While the decision to move in this direction may have been made before Chong Bang crossed the border, there is no questioning that industry watchers will be focused on what SDM’s new top merchant will do to further improve the stores.
(THE NEWS: Shoppers Drug Mart takes a page out of CCR playbook. For the full story, click here)
That has a lot to do with Bang’s pedigree — he’s directed a significant merchandising program at Walgreens, one of the leading pureplay pharmacies in the United States. And now he’s at Shoppers, the leading drug store retailer north of the border.
Bang will be armed at Shoppers with the sales data generated by 9.7 million members of the pharmacy’s Optimum loyalty program, 80% of whom are women. When you consider that there are only 34 million Canadians, that means that almost 1-in-3 Canadians are members of Shoppers’ loyalty program, and almost 1-in-2 Canadian women.
Presently, Shoppers plans to grow its square footage at a clip of 8% to 9% with a new distribution center slated to open in 2010 to help support that growth. And that’s really going to be Bang’s merchandising challenge — finding a way to slip one more item into that Shoppers marketbasket in a saturated marketplace. Bang certainly can’t build front-end sales by attracting new customers. There just aren’t that many Canadians who don’t already shop at Shoppers.
For Bang, it’ll be a question of optimizing categorical synergies and in doing so help drive impulse purchases. Similar to Walgreens, Shoppers is on a mission to make a good shopping experience better, and Bang’s expected to help realize that goal.