SCHERING'S OTC WEIGHT LOSS PRODUCT FIBRE TRIM SALES REACH $44 MIL. IN FIVE MONTHS; NORMODYNE SALES NOW ANNUALIZING AT $25 MIL., KOGAN TELLS ANALYSTS
Schering-Plough's new OTC weight loss product Fibre Trim generated $44 mil. in sales in the product's first five months on the market, Schering President Richard Kogan said in a June 11 presentation at an Alex Brown & Sons health care seminar in Baltimore. "A significant success story now in the making is Fibre Trime -- our fruit and fibre weight control aid," Kogan remarked. "We introduced Fibre Trim in late 1985, actually in the last two weeks of December, and sales through May have been $44 mil., which far exceeds expectations. Fibre Trim has already captured about 20% of its market." In its first year on the market, Schering's Fibre Trim brand appears to be on its way to topping $100 mil. in sales. Boosted by the Fibre Trim launch and increased consumer promotion, Schering's OTC sales were up 42% in the first quarter of 1986, Kogan said. As an example of the firm's stepped up OTC marketing effort, Kogan noted that Chlortrimeton, is currently the subject of a national television ad campaign. The product was detailed ethically to MDs prior to the ad campaign. Schering Nonsedating, One-A-Day Antihistamine Loratidine Approaching Completion Of Phase III Trials In the Rx area, Kogan reported that Schering's alpha-beta blocker Normodyne (labetolol), comarketed with Glaxo, is now annualizing at $25 mil. in the U.S. Normodyne generated approximately $15 mil. in sales in the U.S. in 1985, the product's first full year on the market. "Normodyne has surpassed its sales goal since its introduction in 1984," Kogan said. New Rxs written for the product are "up 45% over the prior year," he added. Schering should soon have a diuretic combo line extension of Normodyne available, to be called Normozide. In late February, both Schering and Glaxo received approvable letters from the FDA for a labetolol/hydrochlorothiazide product. Also in the cardiovascular area, Schering will soon be ready to file an NDA for the company's vasodilating beta blocker delivalol. Kogan said that an NDA for the drug will be submitted "this year." Kogan indicated that Schering expects the planned acquisition of Key to directly benefit Schering's position in the cardiovascular field. Schering's U.S. clinical development of the non-sedating antihistamine, loratidine, is now being completed, Kogan said. Once approved, loratidine will compete with Merrell Dow's Seldane (terfenadine), currently the only such antihistamine on the market, as well as entries from J&J (Hismanal) and Robins (mequitizone), now in clinicals. Kogan predicted that Schering's loratidine "should do well as it will be the only once-a-day product in its market." Loratidine also fits into Schering's relatively strong asthma/allergy business led by Proventil, the firm's largest selling product in the U.S. Schering is currently building on its Proventil franchise through line extensions -- a syrup for the pediatric market launched in January and a one-a-day dosage form pending approval at FDA. In the biotech area, Kogan highlighted the cloning of two T-cell factors at the company's DNAX subsidiary -- granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor and interleukin-4. The latter protein, Kogan explained, "causes proliferation of antibody-producing B-cells and enhances the proliferation of . . . T-cells and granulocytes." Kogan said that Schering is developing both of these products "on a fast track basis."
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