PHARMACY

ViroPharma launches hereditary angioedema campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

EXTON, Pa. — Drug maker ViroPharma has launched an education campaign focused on a rare, debilitating and life-threatening genetic disorder.

The company announced Wednesday the launch of the unbranded campaign focused on hereditary angioedema, particularly the emotional and psychological burden faced by patients with the disease, which results from deficiency of the human plasma protein C1 inhibitor and causes attacks of swelling and pain.

The company said HAE patients can experience multiple attacks per month, but attacks are highly variable and unpredictable, causing patients to experience anxiety, depression and isolation.

"Through this campaign, we hope to illustrate that HAE is not just an acute clinical condition, but can also be an emotional and psychological burden to patients," ViroPharma associate director of marketing Frank Nazzario said. "HAE is a life-altering disease that interferes with work, school, travel and social life."


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PHARMACY

Galderma Pharma to acquire Spirig Pharma

BY Alaric DeArment

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Swiss skin drug maker Galderma Pharma will acquire another Swiss drug maker also focused on treatments for skin conditions, Galderma said.

Based in Egerkingen, Switzerland, Spirig makes treatments for such conditions as solar damage and skin barrier function impairment, as well as treatments for such precancerous conditions as actinic keratosis. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it was noted that Spirig had sales of about $106 million in 2011. The global corporate headquarters of Galderma will remain in Lausanne, Switzerland.

"We are excited about our two companies’ commercial and geographic opportunities, maximizing the value of our complementary product portfolios in the prescription and self-medication markets," Galderma VP business development and markets Albert Draaijer said. "We look forward to welcoming Spirig employees and to combining our efforts to better meet the market’s needs."


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Teva granted global license to experimental pain drug

BY Alaric DeArment

JERUSALEM — Xenon Pharmaceuticals is licensing an experimental pain drug to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in a deal worth up to $376 million, not including royalties, the companies said.

Xenon, based in Burnaby, British Columbia, said it would give Israel-based Teva a worldwide license to the drug XEN402. Under the deal, Teva will pay Xenon an upfront fee of $41 million, followed by development, regulatory and sales-based milestone payments worth up to $335 million. Xenon will also be entitled to royalties on the drug and the option to participate in its commercialization in the United States if it wins approval.

"Teva is building a focused pipeline of novel medicines in select areas of medical need," Teva president and CEO Jeremy Levin said. "XEN402 fits this strategy. It holds the potential to address the significant unmet medical need for the many patients who suffer from chronic pain."


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