Merck Deal Gives Lundbeck US Foothold
Lundbeck's $270 million deal with Merck & Co. to develop and commercialize the Phase III gaboxadol for sleep disorders in the US finally gives the Danish CNS specialist a foothold in the US market. Gaboxadol provides Merck an entry into the burgeoning insomnia market and the deal-the company's largest-ever single-product pact-is indicative of the Big Pharma's growing flexibility and acceptance of external research.
You may also be interested in...
Eli Lilly added its second insomnia program with the acquisition of privately held Hypnion Inc. Hypnion's Phase II HY10275 compound is the industry's most advanced dual H1/5HT2a antagonist in clinical development. Hypnion management told START-UP that M&A was its preferred exit, given the resources necessary to develop HY10275 to its full potential.
The insomnia market is entering a growth spurt enabled and fueled by more effective and safer drugs and their intense promotion: think depression in 1990, without the social stigma. The recent launch of three new products-Sepracor Inc.'s eszopiclone (Lunesta), Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.'s ramelteon (Rozerem) and Sanofi-Aventis' controlled-release zolpidem (Ambien CR)-and the advertising blitz that has accompanied Lunesta and Ambien CR, has brought the plight of insomnia sufferers to the fore. And as it grows, market shares in insomnia can shift quickly.
Recent Big Pharma deals validate Pierre Fabre's productive research, and underline mid-sized pharmas' importance as a product source. But the French group hasn't yet fully capitalized on its R&D.