PHARMACY

Watson to change brand in 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

 

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Watson Pharmaceuticals is changing its name to Actavis following its acquisition of the Swiss drug maker, Watson said.

 

Watson, whose $5.6 billion acquisition of Actavis received approval from the Federal Trade Commission earlier this month, said it would adopt the new name starting in 2013, with plans to start a multi-year rebranding campaign and trade under a new symbol on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

“When we announced the proposed acquisition of Actavis in April 2012, we immediately instituted an extensive and accelerated review of our global brand position and naming equities,” Watson president and CEO Paul Bisaro said. “A pioneer at the dawn of the U.S. Generic industry in 1984, the Watson corporate name was never registered globally. As we initiated our global expansion strategy in 2009, it became clear that we could not establish a single, unified market presence under the Watson brand.”

 

The rebranding will also include a redesign of the Actavis logo, created by branding firm Lippincott, which features a “W” emerging from an “A,” a reference to Watson.

 

The company also announced a new global generics commercial management team. Andrew Boyer, who joined Watson in 1998 as associate director of marketing in generics and served most recently as SVP sales and marketing, will lead the company’s U.S. Generics business. Jean-Guy Goulet, the president for Canada and Mexico for Watson’s Canadian subsidiary, Cobalt Pharmaceuticals, will lead the company’s Canadian and Latin American business. The company’s European, Asia, Middle East and Africa, and Australian businesses have new leaders as well.

 

Announcing its third quarter 2012 earnings Thursday, Watson said it had profits of $172.3 million, a 24.2% increase over third quarter 2011. Sales were $1.29 billion, an 18.8% increase over third quarter 2011, including $920.9 million in global generics sales. 

 

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Walgreens, Alliance Boots form new jointly owned company: Walgreens Boots Alliance Development

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday announced that it has formally set up a new company, jointly owned with Alliance Boots, as part of their strategic partnership’s synergy program.

The new company, called Walgreens Boots Alliance Development, will be based in Bern, Switzerland.

No other details were released. 

Walgreens and Alliance Boots first announced their proposed acquisition strategy in June and last month named CFO Wade Miquelon to an expanded and global leadership role as president of value creation services and international division. In that capacity, Miquelon serves as Wasson’s senior leader in collaborating with Alliance Boots management team to execute the new global strategic partnership. 

At the time, Walgreens also named Robert Zimmerman, SVP international and international chief administration officer, as the lead executive for the Walgreens-Alliance Boots’ "synergy team." Former Wellpoint senior executive Brad Fluegel assumed the role of chief strategy officer at Walgreens. 

As part of the Alliance Boots announcement in June, Walgreens stated that it expects combined synergies across both companies of between $100 million and $150 million in the first year and $1 billion by the end of 2016. To carry out a focused effort to capture those synergies, the company is setting up six new “global synergy teams” in Miquelon’s new organization that will work closely with Alliance Boots.

By 2016, the deal is projected to transform Walgreens from a $72 billion operator — with two-thirds of its revenue coming from its U.S. pharmacy business — to a $130 billion global health-and-wellness player.


For a comprehensive overview of Walgreens present business strategy, click here

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Sandoz starts phase-3 trial of biosimilar anemia drug

BY Alaric DeArment

HOLZKIRCHEN, Germany — Generic drug maker Sandoz has started a late-stage clinical trial in the United States for a biosimilar treatment for anemia, the company said.

Sandoz, the generics arm of Swiss drug maker Novartis, said it had started enrolling patients for a phase-3 study of epoetin alfa, a biosimilar version of Epogen and Procrit, made by Amgen and Johnson & Johnson and used to treat anemia associated with chronic kidney disease.

“This latest study further reinforces Sandoz’s strong commitment to increasing access to high-quality, affordable biopharmaceuticals and further expanding our biosimilars business,” Sandoz head of biopharmaceuticals and oncology injectables Ameet Mallik said. “Sandoz is looking forward to bringing the benefits of a high-quality, safe, effective and affordable epoetin alfa to patients, physicians and payers in the United States.”

Sandoz has marketed biosimilar epoetin alfa in the European Union for five years under the brand name Binocrit. The company said it also is enrolling patients and conducting other phase-2 and phase-3 trials of biosimilar versions of Roche’s Rituxan (rituximab) and Amgen’s Neupogen (filgrastim) and Neulasta (pegfilgrastim). 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 included an amendment mandating a regulatory approval pathway for biosimilars, though the regulations have yet to be completed and put into place. Until that happens, companies looking to manufacture and market biosimilars for the United States market must still go through the same approval process that the Food and Drug Administration uses for brand-name biotech drugs.

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