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Bayer signs away Yasmin rights

Bayer Healthcare has signed a new agreement which gives US biotech company, Barr Laboratories, rights to sell the generic version of its oral contraceptive pill

Bayer Healthcare has signed a new agreement which gives US biotech company, Barr Laboratories, rights to sell the generic version of its oral contraceptive pill, Yasmin, in a bid to stave off the financial hit from impending patent expiry of the brand.

The US drug manufacturer is currently appealing a New Jersey court ruling that effectively invalidated its patent for the contraceptive drug. Bayer stands to receive a fixed percentage of the profits from Barr's sales of the generic version of the product. However, should Bayer be successful in its appeal against the New Jersey court decision regarding the Yasmin patent, the company will receive a larger share of the profits from Barr's sales of the generic version.

Barr will only have the right to sell the drug on the US market but has also been given a marketing licence for YAZ, a sister product to Yasmin, as they both come from the same family of drospirenone treatments. The licence for YAZ means that Barr will be allowed to supply and market the generic version of the product should Bayer's appeals against other companies regarding patent protection fail.

Dr Gunnar Riemann, member of the board of management at Bayer, said that he hopes the company will continue posting high-single-digit to low-double-digit percentage growth rates.

"The agreement allows us to participate in the US market for generic oral contraceptives in partnership with an established player," he said.

24th June 2008

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