PHARMACY

Report: Genoa Healthcare may be for sale

BY Sandra Levy

Private-equity firm Advent International has reportedly held talks with potential buyers about the sale of pharmacy company Genoa Healthcare, according to a Bloomberg report.

Walgreens Boots Alliance is said to be among those suitors interested in Genoa, Bloomberg’s report said.

Genoa, which is estimated to be worth about $2.5 billion has more than 400 full-service pharmacies within community mental-health centers. It serves about 650,000 customers and has more than 250 psychiatrists and nurse practitioners who provide telepsychiatry services to mental-health patients, according to the report.

A Walgreens deal with Genoa would add to Walgreens’ number of pharmacies, which increased last year when the chain acquired 1,932 new stores from Rite Aid.

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PHARMACY

Allergan, Editas Medicine to develop genomic medicines to treat eye diseases

BY Sandra Levy

Allergan and Editas Medicine, a leading genome editing company, have joined forces to develop and commercialize EDIT-101 globally for the treatment of Leber Congenital Amaurosis, or LCA, a group of inherited retinal degenerative disorders caused by mutations in at least 18 different genes.

LCA is the most common cause of inherited childhood blindness, with an incidence of two to three per 100,000 live births worldwide. Symptoms of LCA appear within the first years of life, resulting in significant vision loss and potentially blindness. The most common form of the disease, LCA10, is a monogenic disorder caused by mutations in the CEP290 gene and is the cause of disease in approximately 20%-30% of all LCA patients.

CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) is a tool that can be programmed to target specific stretches of genetic code and edit DNA at precise locations in the human genome. The technology allows researchers to permanently modify genes.

“CRISPR-based medicines have the potential to be game-changers for patients with both genetically-defined and genetically-treatable diseases of the eye,” Allergan chief research and development officer David Nicholson said, in a statement.”The Allergan team is excited to work with colleagues at Editas Medicine to develop EDIT-101 and potentially deliver a transformative medicine for LCA10 patients.”

“Today marks a significant milestone in our collaboration with Allergan and in our work to develop genomic medicines to treat eye diseases,” Editas Medicine president and CEO Katrine Bosley said, in a statement. “Allergan is a long-time innovator in ophthalmology, and their deep experience in developing, manufacturing, and commercializing medicines globally will meaningfully advance the EDIT-101 program and maximize our ability to bring this transformative medicine to people living with LCA10.”

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Lannett, Andor partner to launch methylphenidate hydrochloride ER tablets

BY Sandra Levy

Lannett has entered into an exclusive perpetual licensing agreement with Andor Pharmaceuticals for a potential generic of Concerta ER (methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets), the company announced Tuesday.

Andor’s pending Abbreviated New Drug Application of methylphenidate included all bioequivalence metrics recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and is expected to be approved as an AB-rated generic equivalent to Concerta. Lannett will primarily provide sales, marketing and distribution support of Andor’s Methylphenidate ER product, for which it will receive a percentage of the net profits.

“We look forward to returning to this AB-rated Methylphenidate market,” said Lannett CEO Tim Crew. “Based on Andor’s target action date of Feb. 1, 2019, we are optimistic about launching the product well within calendar 2019. The product adds to the sizable number of products we expect to launch in the near term. In June, we commenced marketing four products and, in the coming months, expect to begin marketing several others. While we build out our pipeline, we remain focused on near-term growth opportunities, which include commercializing the products in our portfolio and forming strategic alliances to in-license/acquire products.”

Methylphenidate is s a central nervous system stimulant primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in children between the ages of 6 years old to 12 years old, adolescents, and adults up to age 65 years old. The Andor generic will be available in 18-, 27-, 36- and 54-mg dosage strengths.

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release tablets had a market value of approximately $1.8 billion for the 12 months ended June 2018, according to IQVIA.

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