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Pharma news in brief

Eligard launched in Italy Teva launches generic Wellbutrin Xl tablets NNE acquires Pharmaplan Roche terminates Epigenomics cancer collaboration New NHS diagnostic test and hospital episode statistics published European Medicines Agency launches EudraPharm medicines database

Eligard launched in Italy
German biotechnology company, MediGene, has announced that its advanced prostate cancer treatment, Eligard (leuprolide acetate injection), is now available in Italy, the last of the major European markets in which the drug has been introduced. At the outset of marketing, MediGene will receive a milestone payment from its marketing partner Astellas Pharma Europe. MediGene also receives royalties on the sales of Eligard.

Teva launches generic Wellbutrin Xl tablets
Teva has shipped bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets, 300 mg, the generic version of Biovail's antidepressant, Wellbutrin XL Tablets, pursuant to an agreement with IMPAX Laboratories and Anchen Pharmaceuticals. Wellbutrin XL, marketed by GlaxoSmithKline, had US sales of approximately $972 million (£493 million) for the 12 months ended September 2006, according to IMS data. Anchen and IMPAX are currently in patent litigation with Biovail concerning this product.

NNE acquires Pharmaplan
Danish life science engineering and consultancy company, NNE, has signed an agreement with Fresenius ProServe to acquire its subsidiary, the German engineering company Pharmaplan. The two companies will unite under the name of NNE Pharmaplan and will operate in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries. The acquisition is effective from 1 January 2007, but will await a final anti-trust approval due in Q1 2007.

Roche terminates Epigenomics cancer collaboration
Roche Diagnostics has terminated its four-year collaboration with Epigenomics to develop prostate, breast and colorectal cancer screening diagnostic tests based on Epigenomic's DNA methylation technologies. Roche determined that the screening data presented did not meet its criteria for development as in vitro diagnostic tests.

New NHS diagnostic test and hospital episode statistics published
Data showing the NHS' progress in tackling the waiting times for diagnostic tests and hospital episode statistics (average length of patient stay and average waiting times before admission) have been released by the UK department of health. The data will help the NHS in delivering the new 18-week maximum wait from GP to treatment, including all diagnostic tests, by 2008.

Diagnostic performance data can be accessed here:

Hospital episode statistics can be accessed here:

The 18-week website can be accessed here:

European Medicines Agency launches EudraPharm medicines database
The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has launched a new public database designed to facilitate access to information about medicines available in the EU. EudraPharm is a long-term project giving online access to information about all medicines available to EU citizens. Medicines included on the database include those for cancers, AIDS / HIV, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders and rare conditions (orphan drugs).

Access the EudraPharm database here:

30th September 2008


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