Tags: US | Merck | Contract

Merck Buys Rights to Potential Chronic Lung Drug

Monday, 26 Apr 2010 01:51 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Drugmaker Merck & Co. said Monday it has bought rights to help market what would be the first anti-inflammatory pill for a chronic lung condition, just a few days after European regulators recommended approval there.

The deal gives Merck rights to jointly market Daxas, made by Swiss drugmaker Nycomed, for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Canada and several European countries. Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, N.J., also received an exclusive distribution deal for the United Kingdom.

If approved, Daxas would be the first drug in a new class of treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes bronchitis and emphysema.

However, U.S. regulators have recommended against its approval. Final decisions in the U.S. and Europe are still pending.

Daxas, a pill taken once a day, blocks an enzyme involved in the lung disorder and in related inflammatory diseases. Patients now generally take inhaled medicines including corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation, and bronchodilators, which open up airway passages in the lungs to ease breathing.

Under the deal, privately owned Nycomed will receive an undisclosed upfront fee and could get additional payments for meeting development and sales milestones.

If Daxas is approved, Merck and Nycomed will co-promote it in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Canada, while Merck will sell it exclusively in the United Kingdom.

Nycomed, based in Zurich, will make and distribute the product. It sells brand-name medicines for respiratory, inflammatory and gastrointestinal diseases, osteoporosis and pain, plus some over-the-counter products.

Forest Laboratories Inc. has U.S. rights to sell Daxas, for which it paid Nycomed $100 million.

Earlier this month, a panel of Food and Drug Administration lung experts voted 10-5 against approving Daxas, known chemically as roflumilast, because of concerns about potentially dangerous side effects. In a study comparing Daxas with another drug, problems including suicide, cancer and weight loss were more common among the patients receiving Daxas.

However, the panel voted 9-6 that Daxas appeared effective. An FDA decision is expected by mid-May.

Last Friday, the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use recommended approval of Daxas for EU countries.

Merck shares rose 9 cents to $35.55 in early afternoon trading.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

More Detainees Set for Release From Guantanamo

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 22:34 PM

More detainees are slowly and quietly being released from U.S. detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, The Wall Street Journa . . .

Romney to GOP: Pass 'Permanent Clarification' of Immigration Laws

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 21:45 PM

Mitt Romney is urging Republicans in the new Congress to come together, swallow hard, and pass a "permanent clarificat . . .

IRS Gave White House Thousands of Taxpayer Documents

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 18:48 PM

The IRS improperly turned over thousands of confidential tax documents to the White House for review, according to infor . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved