Archive for October, 2013

Reckitt Benckiser set for at least £2bn in heroin treatment sell-off

Posted on October 23rd, 2013 by Valorem Life Sciences

Reckitt Benckiser chief executive Rakesh Kapoor today hung a For Sale sign above the Cillit Bang and Dettol-maker’s treatment for heroin addiction, with analysts predicting at least a £2 billion price tag.

The Suboxone heroin replacement product has for decades been the treatment of choice for US doctors trying to wean addicts off the killer drug. But its patent has now expired and cheap generic copycats are rapidly eating into the market.

Now Kapoor has launched a review of the future of the business, which is likely to lead to it being sold. Reckitt will continue to own its consumer medicines such as Nurofen, Gaviscon and Strepsils.

Analysts said there would be no shortage of bidders in the global pharmaceuticals industry who have expertise at managing medicines that have come off patent. Reckitt has tried to deal with the issue by creating a new format for the medicine — an impregnated film that users put under their tongue.

Reckitt claims this patent is safer than the previous tablet version as some addicts have been dissolving the tablets and injecting them. However, generic tablets remain popular among price-conscious US healthcare providers and Reckitt’s share of the market has fallen to 68%.

Source: The Independant

Teva To Cut 5,000 Jobs As Key Drug Patent Expiration Looms

Posted on October 10th, 2013 by Valorem Life Sciences

Faced with a looming patent expiration for its biggest-selling drug, Teva Pharmaceuticals is accelerating a $2 billion cost-cutting plan that was begun less than a year ago by cutting 5,000 employees, which amounts to roughly 10 percent of its global workforce.

The drugmaker also intends to take other, unspecified steps that involve “selective trimming of assets that no longer fit its core business or are not critical to its future,” and “scale down oversized parts of the company,” according to a statement.

The move comes less than three months after a US court invalidated the 2015 patent on its Copaxone multiple sclerosis drug. The decision means patent protection for the drug, which generates about half of company earnings and dominates the MS market, may prevent rivals from selling lower-cost versions of the injectable drug only until next year. Teva, meanwhile, is appealing the decision.

Source: Pharma Live

UK firm seeks to market world’s first malaria vaccine

Posted on October 8th, 2013 by Valorem Life Sciences

British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is seeking regulatory approval for the world’s first malaria vaccine after trial data showed that it had cut the number of cases in African children.

Experts say that they are optimistic about the possibility of the world’s first vaccine after the trial results. Malaria, a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year. Scientists say an effective vaccine is key to attempts to eradicate it. The vaccine known as RTS,S was found to have almost halved the number of malaria cases in young children in the trial and to have reduced by about 25% the number of malaria cases in infants. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is developing RTS,S with the non-profit Path Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Many millions of malaria cases fill the wards of our hospitals,” said Halidou Tinto, a lead investigator on the RTS,S trial from Burkina Faso. “Progress is being made with bed nets and other measures, but we need more tools to battle this terrible disease.” The malaria trial was Africa’s largest-ever clinical trial involving almost 15,500 children in seven countries. The findings were presented at a medical meeting in Durban, South Africa. “Based on these data, GSK now intends to submit, in 2014, a regulatory application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA),” GSK said in a statement.

The company has been developing the vaccine for three decades.

Source: BBC