SCHERING's INTRON-A GENERATES $1.8 MIL. SALES IN FIRST MONTH
SCHERING's INTRON-A GENERATES $1.8 MIL. SALES IN FIRST MONTH of marketing following the recombinant alpha-interferon product's June 4 approval, Schering-Plough Chairman Robert Luciano told a recent analysts meeting in New York. "It's important for you to note that we hit the ground running with the launch of Intron-A," Luciano said, "making the first shipment within 24 hours of the approval." To help market Intron-A in the U.S., Schering has formed a 28-person specialized cancer sales force. "In the U.S. we have created a sales team of specialists in the anticancer and antiviral fields," Luciano noted, "who will function as product consultants, providing comprehensive information about protocols, new drugs and prescribing." The approximately 30-person anticancer/antiviral detail force is in addition to Schering's 800-plus regular sales people in the U.S. In addition to Intron-A, Schering has another anticancer agent, Eulexin (flutamide), emerging from the pipeline. Used as concomitant therapy with an LHRH analog in prostatic cancer, flutamide is currently marketed in 13 countries and an NDA is pending in the U.S. Luciano predicted that flutamide sales will reach $15 mil. outside the U.S. in 1986. FDA approval of Eulexin will likely be held up until completion of an ongoing National Cancer Institute study, Luciano said. "The drug will not . . . be approved in this country until the FDA has had an opportunity to review the data generated by the NCI study, which completed patient enrollment last May," he told the analysts. Schering has two compounds approaching the NDA filing stage in the U.S. Luciano said the company is on track to file an NDA for its vasodilating beta blocker dilevalol "later this year." Also in Phase III clinicals is the once-a-day, nonsedative antihistamine loratadine. Luciano reported that further back in the R&D pipeline, two compounds developed by Schering's DNAX subsidiary have been targeted for "fast-track" development -- granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor and interleukin-4. "Testing, soon to commence with animal models, will tell us more about how these substances work," Luciano said. Neither T-cell factor protein has reached human clinicals yet. The company is budgeting $200 mil. for R&D in 1986, up about 14% from 1985 when Schering spent $175 mil. Schering said its consolidated research expenditures with Key "should total more than $211 mil." this year.
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