PHARMACY

Reports: Watson plans to buy Actavis

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Generic drug maker Watson Pharmaceuticals is looking to acquire Actavis, according to published reports.

News media reported Wednesday that U.S.-based Watson was close to taking over Switzerland-based Actavis for $6.6 to $7.3 billion. Actavis, also a major manufacturer of generic drugs, was formerly based in Iceland and moved its headquarters to Switzerland last year.

The deal would likely go through this month or next month, according to the reports. According to news media, people familiar with the matter suggested the combination of the two companies would give Watson a bigger presence in Europe.


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PHARMACY

FDA approves Watson’s generic version of Boniva

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Watson’s generic version of a drug used to prevent and treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, the company said.

Watson announced the FDA’s approval of ibandronate tablets in the 150-mg strength, a generic version of Genentech’s Boniva. Watson plans to launch its version in second quarter 2012.

On Monday, the FDA approved generic ibandronate tablets in the same strength made by Mylan, Apotex and Orchid Healthcare. Boniva had sales of $510 million during the 12-month period ended in January, according to IMS Health.

Watson said Roche, Genentech’s parent company, had filed suit against it with regard to the drug, alleging patent infringement.

 


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FDA advisory committee votes in favor of GSK’s Votrient

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — A Food and Drug Administration expert panel delivered a favorable vote on a cancer drug made by GlaxoSmithKline.

GSK announced that the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee voted 11-2 that clinical trial data indicated a favorable risk-benefit profile of the drug Votrient (pazopanib) in patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcoma who have received chemotherapy. The drug is already approved for treating the kidney cancer renal cell carcinoma.

"Treatment options for patients with advanced soft-tissue sarcoma are limited," GSK Oncology SVP Rafael Amado said. "We are therefore pleased that the committee took a favorable view of the clinical data for Votrient."

The FDA is not bound by advisory committee votes when deciding whether or not to approve a drug but usually follows them.


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