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MEAD JOHNSON GAINING SECOND CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING AGENT WITH PURCHASE

Executive Summary

MEAD JOHNSON GAINING SECOND CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING AGENT WITH PURCHASE of exclusive U.S. marketing rights to fenofibrate. Mead Johnson announced in a recent press release that it has obtained rights to the drug under an agreement with the French firm Fournier Laboratories. First launched in France under the brandname Lipanthyl in 1975, Mead Johnson noted that fenofibrate is currently markted in 29 countries and is "a leading drug for treatment of blood lipid disorders throughout the world." Fenofibrate will complement Mead Johnson's Questran (cholestyramine) and expand the firm's position in the lipid-lowering market. Mead Johnson noted that fenofibrate will be studied in order "to prove with certainty" that it "lowers coronary heart disease risk by its effects on the different lipids." Results of a Natl. Institutes of Health study, released in January 1984, found a dose-response relationship between Questran and a lowered risk of coronary heart disease. Warner-Lambert is among other companies seeking a coronary heart disease prevention indication for its cholesterol-lowering agent Lopid (gemfibrozol). Last year, the firm reported positive preliminary results after breaking the code of its Helsinki Heart Study, but concluded that the results were not strong enough to justify stopping the trial before its scheduled end point next year.
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