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Pfizer concludes NextWave acquisition

Sets company up to compete in the ADHD sector

Pfizer closed its acquisition of NextWave Pharmaceuticals yesterday, setting up an assault on the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sector which is currently dominated by Shire.

After closing the deal, Pfizer now holds exclusive North American rights to Quillivant XR (methylphenidate HCl), an extended-release ADHD drug in a child-friendly liquid formulation that can be given just once a day before school. 

Quillivant XR was approved by the FDA in September and is due to reach pharmacies in January, said the pharma company in a statement. NextWave is also developing a chewable tablet formulation of methylphenidate called NWP09 that is due for filing in 2013.

Pfizer first announced the NextWave deal in October, saying it would pay $255m at the close of the transaction and up to $425m in sales milestones. The company had already made a $20m option payment to NextWave earlier this year.

Analysts have suggested that the price tag for NextWave is fairly high, given that the market for ADHD drugs is becoming increasingly genericised by patent expiries for drugs such as Shire's once market-leading Adderall XR (mixed amphetamine salts), with newer product such as Johnson & Johnson's Concerta (methylphenidate) also facing generic competition shortly.

Shire has launched a clutch of new-generation ADHD drugs - notably Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine) - which is expected to become the major player in the category in the next five years thanks to its efficacy and low abuse potential.

Decision Resources said recently it expects Vyvanse to become a $1.2bn product by 2017, securing Shire's position at the top of the ADHD market with a 44 per cent share.

ADHD affects about 5.3 per cent of the population, including 2-6 per cent of pre-school children and 6-13 per cent of adolescents, with around 2 per cent of adults also said to suffer from the condition.

29th November 2012

From: Sales

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