POLYMEDICA PHARMACEUTICALS TO MARKET ALCON’s WEBCON UROLOGICAL DRUG LINE
POLYMEDICA PHARMACEUTICALS TO MARKET ALCON's WEBCON UROLOGICAL DRUG LINE, which had sales of $12.3 mil. in 1991, under a Dec. 11 agreement. The newly-formed pharmaceutical subsidiary of Woburn, Mass.-based PolyMedica Industries acquired the Webcon line, manufacturing equipment and technology, and access to Alcon's Webcon distribution network of approximately 284 U.S. wholesalers and retailers in exchange for $45 mil. in cash. PolyMedica expects to fund the purchase with proceeds from a $25 mil. private debt placement and approximately $22 mil. in equity. Alcon sold the Webcon line as part of an ongoing program to divest operations outside the ophthalmic markets the firm primarily serves, PolyMedica said. Marketed by Alcon since 1973, the Webcon line consists of 10 urological drugs: Anestacon topical lidocaine for endourethral use; B&O Supprettes belladonna and opium rectal suppositories used to relieve pain associated with ureteral spasms; Cystospaz hyoscyamine tablets used to manage lower urinary tract disorders associated with hypermotility; Cystospaz-M hyoscyamine timed- release capsules; Urised, a combination of antiseptics (methenamine, phenyl salicylate, methylene blue, benzoic acid) and parasympatholytics (atropine sulfate, hyoscyamine) used to relieve discomfort of the lower urinary tract caused by hypermotility; Urisedamine methenamine mandelate/hyoscyamine tablets; Aquachloral chloral hydrate suppositories; and Neopap acetaminophen suppositories. Two nonprescription drugs also included in the line are Azo- Standard (phenazopyridine) anesthetic/antispasmodic tablets for mild urinary tract infections and Alconefrin (phenylephrine) decongestant nose drops. In the future, PolyMedica expects to market some of the Webcon drug products in urological kits with wound dressings and polyurethane urinary catheters it is developing. For example, a typical kit may include a prefilled syringe of Anestacon to facilitate insertion of a urinary catheter, the catheter, and a wound dressing to keep the catheter in place and absorb urine leakages. PolyMedica already markets through distributors the Mitraflex and Spyroflex wound dressing products. The firm anticipates submitting 510(k) premarket notification applications to FDA for three polyurethane catheters of varying diameters and lumens by the summer of 1993. Other plans for the Webcon line include marketing Azo-Standard more aggressively via new packaging and shelf placement. PolyMedica Pharmaceuticals expects to begin manufacturing the urological drugs from a new facility in Puerto Rico, not far from Humacao, where Alcon manufactured the line, by the third quarter of 1993. Alcon is expected to assist PolyMedica in the transition. In addition to the Puerto Rico facilities, PolyMedica Pharmaceuticals also will maintain a small marketing/sales office in Woburn. The Puerto Rico office will house the president of PolyMedica Pharmaceuticals, who has not yet been named, as well as 15-20 other employees. Founded in 1988, venture capital-funded PolyMedica predominantly develops and manufactures customized polyurethane- based medical products under contract. In this area, PolyMedica has an agreement with the cardiovascular device from Medtronic to test PolyMedica's ChronoFlex polyurethane material in the form of coronary catheters, pacemaker leads and vascular grafts. If the studies, which are at the preclinical stage, yield favorable results, Medtronic has exclusive rights to incorporate ChronoFlex in all of its cardiac management products. In September, PolyMedica acquired the consumer health care firm Clinical Diagnostics, Inc. Now called PolyMedica Healthcare, the company markets through 33,000 U.S. and Canadian retail outlets products including the Medi-Aid AdvisRx 60-day medication reminder, White River breast pump kit, and home-use otoscopes, exam light kits and ear syringes under the Basis tradename. PolyMedica also has been working with an as-yet-unnamed cosmetics firm to develop a product based on its ChronoSphere controlled-release delivery technology and is developing an OTC line of its wound dressings. Both products are expected to be introduced within the next two years.
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