PHARMACY

Valeant buys rights for Elidel, Xerese

BY Alaric DeArment

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International will acquire rights to topical drugs for eczema and cold sores from Swedish drug maker Meda.

Valeant said it would buy rights for the eczema drug Elidel (pimecrolimus) and the cold sore drug Xerese (acyclovir and hydrocortisone) for the United States, Canada and Mexico. Valeant said, however, that Xerese has not yet received regulatory approval in Canada.

Valeant will pay Meda $76 million upfront and over the next 18 months will pay a series of potential milestone payments and royalties of about $130 million.

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UCB, Harvard enter research alliance focused on central nervous system, immunology

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON and BRUSSELS — Drug maker UCB and Harvard University have entered a research alliance that is designed to advance ongoing Harvard research projects along the drug development pathway.

UCB said it will bring its expertise in antibody generation and medicinal chemistry into the alliance and will provide up to $6 million over two years to fund specific innovative research projects led by Harvard scientists. The collaboration focuses on the central nervous system and immunology, UCB said.

The first research project funded under the Harvard-UCB alliance is a collaboration with Gokhan Hotamisligil, professor and chair of the department of genetics and complex diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health.

"Harvard’s world-class academic research is an excellent fit with UCB’s world-class antibody research and central nervous system pharmacology," said Ismail Kola, president of UCB new medicines. "Both parties will learn from each other through the collaboration and a two-way exchange of ideas. Harvard will benefit from UCB’s strengths and industry experience in drug discovery and development, while Harvard’s exceptional research will complement UCB’s internal expertise."

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Impax settles patent litigation relating to Welchol products

BY Allison Cerra

HAYWARD, Calif. — Impax Labs has agreed not to market a generic version of a drug designed to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol in tablet form until 2015.

Impax said the agreement was part of a pending patent litigation between Impax and Daiichi Sankyo and Genzyme, the makers of Welchol (colesevelam HCl) tablets in the 625-mg strength, as well as oral suspensions in 1.875 g/packet and 3.75 g/packet sizes. Under the terms of the agreement, Impax will launch its tablet product on March 2, 2015 or earlier under certain circumstances. Terms pertaining to the launch of generic Welchol oral suspension products by Impax were not disclosed.

U.S. sales of Welchol tablets and Welchol oral suspension were approximately $325 million and $65 million, respectively, for the 12-month period ended in May, according to Wolters Kluwer Health data.

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