BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM WILL CO-MARKET SQUIBB's ACE INHIBITOR FOSINOPRIL
BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM WILL CO-MARKET SQUIBB's ACE INHIBITOR FOSINOPRIL in exchange for co-marketing rights to a group of research compounds known as platelet activating factor (PAF) antagonists, Squibb announced Jan. 7. The co-marketing swap, which is still at the agreement in principle stage, "is expected to be worldwide," Squibb said. Fosinopril, a one-a-day, second generation ACE inhibitor is approaching an NDA submission in the U.S. for hypertension. Squibb Exec VP Charles Sanders told analysts in November that the company anticipates a first-quarter NDA filing for the compound ("The Pink Sheet" Nov. 23, p. 10). Sanders noted that all three of Squibb's back-up ACE inhibitors to Capoten -- fosinopril, zofenopril (in Phase III trials) and SQ 29,582 (in early Phase II) -- are candidates for outlicensing or co-marketing agreements. The Boehringer products covered in the agreement are further back in the pipeline. The PAF antagonists are nearing human studies for a wide range of cardiopulmonary and inflammatory conditions, Squibb said. "Discovered and being developed by Boehringer Ingelheim," PAF antagonists "are among the new innovative research activities carried out at Boehringer Ingelheim during the past five years," the Squibb release notes. Potential areas of study for the class of drugs include asthma, chronic bronchitis, allergic rhinitis, toxic shock infections, certain kidney diseases, organ transplant rejection and arthritis. The Squibb agreement gives Boehringer the proverbial "one in the hand" for the company's important, but aging, cardiovascular line while giving up exclusive rights to early research. Boehringer Ingelheim already holds a relatively strong position in the prescription allergy/asthma market with its Alupent and Atrovent lines that should benefit further from this new class of drugs. However, with the exception of its clonidine transdermal patch (Catapres-TTS) and the antiarrhythmic Mexitil, Boehringer's line of cardiovascular products, including Catapres (clonidine), Thalitone (chlorthalidone), Combipres (clonidine/chlorthalidone) and Persantine (dipyridamole), is old and facing generic competition.
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