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Kos: Right-Sizing Expectations

Executive Summary

Kos Pharmaceuticals has grown its lead product Niaspan, a form of the B vitamin niacin, into a $300 million product, mostly by marketing to cardiologists. The drug raises "good" cholesterol, and so is often prescribed in addition to statins that lower "bad" cholesterol. A recent co-promotion deal with Takeda will give the drug and a follow-on, Advicor, much more exposure in the primary care market, where the biggest pharma companies compete brutally. A vital step, or too little too late?

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Kos/Biovail: How a Mid-Cap Can Win in Primary Care

In May 2005 Kos Pharmaceuticals took over three of Biovail Corp's hypertension drugs plus most of its associated sales force, paying just 1.4 times 2004 sales-or roughly a fifth of what Biovail had paid for the same products less than five years ago. The deal draws attention to why the two mid-cap companies--similarly sized, and, until recently, with a similar business model--have fared so differently in primary care.

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