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REID-ROWELL HAS U.S. MARKETING RIGHTS TO DUPHAR's FLUVOXAMINE

Executive Summary

REID-ROWELL HAS U.S. MARKETING RIGHTS TO DUPHAR's FLUVOXAMINE, a research-stage antidepressant under development in the U.S. for four years. Duphar announced Sept. 12 that it has transferred marketing rights in the U.S. to Reid-Rowell following termination of an earlier agreement with Merck. An NDA for fluvoxamine is currently pending approval at FDA. Duphar and Reid-Rowell are separate subsidiaries of Solvay & Cie. Under an agreement with Duphar, Merck was to have marketed the antidepressant. The release explains that the "agreement with Merck . . . to license Duphar's psychotropic research compound fluvoxamine has been dissolved. Merck has cooperated with Duphar and its subsidiary, Kali-Duphar Labs, Worthington, Ohio, on the scientific development of the compound in the U.S. since July, 1982." Prior to Solvay's acquisition of Reid-Rowell in March ("The Pink Sheet" March 3, p. 4), the parent firm did not have a marketing arm for branded pharmaceuticals in the U.S. The addition of Reid-Rowell to the Solvay group was presumably a catalyst in the dissolution of the fluvoxamine marketing agreement with Merck. Kali-Duphar performs the research and regulatory work for U.S. development of Duphar compounds. The company said it submitted the NDA for fluvoxamine in late 1984. Prior to the purchase of Reid-Rowell, the U.S. firm licensed its research drugs to other firms for marketing. Kali-Duphar currently has two U.S. products -- lactulose, marketed by Merrell Dow under the brand names Cephulac (for portal-systemic encephalopathy) and Chronulac (for constipation), and Astra's Yutopar (ritodrine HCl), used in the management of preterm labor. Reid-Rowell is primarily a marketer of branded generic products; however, it markets at least one original brandname drug, Chenix (chenodiol), and orphan drug for the dissolution of gallstones in certain patients. The firm also has two other orphan treatments from Rowell proprietary research approaching NDAs: a second generation gallstone-dissolving agent and an agent for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

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