NEW YORK (AP) – Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. said it acquired the U.S. rights to a generic version of Celgene Corp.’s billion-selling cancer drug Revlimid.
Natco Pharma Ltd. is developing a generic version of Revlimid, and the companies reached a deal that would give Watson a share of the profits from U.S. sales of the drug. The companies did not disclose terms of the agreement, but they said Watson will help develop and sell generic versions of Revlimid tablets in strengths of 5, 10, and 25 milligrams. Natco may be the first company to seek marketing approval for generic Revlimid, which would give it six months of marketing exclusivity if its version is approved.
Revlimid is made by Celgene, and U.S. sales of the drug surged to $1.03 billion in the first nine months of the year. U.S. sales of Revlimid have accounted for around 40 percent of Celgene’s revenue in 2010. Shares of Celgene edged up 86 cents to $56.50 in premarket trading.
Revlimid, or lenalidomide, was first approved in December 2005 as a treatment for multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. Celgene has lawsuit against Natco that accuses the company of violating patents that protect Revlimid.
Natco is based in Hyderabad, while Watson is based in Morristown, N.J. Celgene’s headquarters are in Summit, N.J.
Date: December 7, 2010
Source: Associated Press