Schering-Plough buys hepatitis C drug rights
Thursday July 16, 2:53 pm Eastern Time
MADISON, N.J., July 16 (Reuters) - Schering-Plough Corp. announced
Thursday that it had exclusive worldwide marketing rights to oral
ribavirin for treatment of hepatitis C.
The pharmaceuticals giant said it had acquired from ICN
Pharmaceuticals Inc. the European marketing rights to oral
ribavirin for the treatment of hepatitis C.
As part of the agreement, ICN will receive an increased royalty
on worldwide sales of oral ribavirin and a one-time compensation of
This includes reimbursement of certain expenses related to ICN's
preparation for the launch of oral ribavirin in the EU for
Further details of the agreement are not being disclosed.
Schering-Plough said it had submitted a marketing authorization
application to the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal
In the application, it is seeking to market rebetron combination
therapy containing ribavirin capsules and interferon alfa-2b.
This is a recombinant injection to treat chronic hepatitis C in
compensated liver disease patients who have relapsed following
alpha interferon therapy.
Ribavirin is a synthetic nucleoside analog with broad-spectrum
antiviral activity. Interferon alfa-2b is a recombinant version of
naturally occurring alpha interferon, which has been shown to exert
both antiviral and immunomodulatory effects.
Schering-Plough markets interferon alfa-2b as intron A, the
world's largest-selling alpha interferon, for 16 major antiviral
and anticancer indications worldwide.
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