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Eisai and Novartis part ways

Published on 08/01/13 at 09:12am
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Novartis and Eisai have abandoned their co-promotion agreement for three of Novartis’ chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatments.

The move follows what the companies call ‘a review of sales strategies’.

The drugs are the inhalation capsules Onbrez 150 mcg (indacaterol maleate) and Seebri 50 mcg (glycopyrronium bromide), plus investigational dual-bronchodilator QVA149 (a fixed-dose combination of indacaterol maleate and glycopyrronium bromide).

Novartis has filed the latter for approval and will now handle promotion for all three, as well as anything to do with the provision, gathering and transmission of pharma information on each.

COPD is a catch-all term for chronic bronchitis and emphysema and is usually caused by smoking: it affects 210 million people worldwide and is predicted to be the third leading cause of death anywhere by 2020.

Athough it is a therapy area of great interest, it is highly competitive, with treatments including Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer’s Spiriva, AstraZeneca’s Symbicort and GlaxoSmithKline’s blockbuster Advair (Seretide in the UK), the biggest-selling drug in the market.

In a Phase III programme this year QVA149 proved superior to Spiriva when it comes to helping patients breathe more easily.

It was better at increasing airflow to the lungs than tiotropium, the active ingredient in Spiriva, and demonstrated superior bronchodilation to a range of other COPD comparators, such as indacaterol and glycopyrronium.

Adam Hill

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