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Grunenthal to market MSD’s pain drug

Acquires rights to Arcoxia in several European countries

grunenthal logo Grünenthal has agreed a deal with MSD to market its pain medicine Arcoxia (etoricoxib) in several major European markets.

The agreement covers Grünenthal's home country of Germany, as well as the UK, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Ireland and Austria. In these countries, Grünenthal will hold exclusive promotion and distribution rights to the COX-2 inhibitor etoricoxib under the brand name Arcoxia.

The drug has been available in Europe via MSD since the early 2000s and is indicated to relieve pain in people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and acute gouty arthritis.

During this time Arcoxia has made a substantial amount of money for MSD - known as Merck & Co in the US and Canada. Just last year it achieved sales of $484m, climbing $30m from 2012.

However, its patents are due to expire soon, and the company has decided it is the right time to divest its interests in certain regions to Grünenthal.

Alberto Grua, chief commercial officer Europe, Australia and North America of Grünenthal, commented that the decision to acquire the rights to Arcoxia in these regions was a boost for the company's pain portfolio.

He said: “By including Arcoxia into our portfolio in select countries, Grünenthal now also offers an innovative therapy option for the treatment of pain with an inflammatory component, which therefore complements our other existing therapy options for the treatment of nociceptive and mixed nociceptive-neuropathic pain.”

Grünenthal's existing pain treatments include Tramal (tramadol).

Article by
Thomas Meek

8th May 2014

From: Sales

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