Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) Acquires Rights to Sell Nexium - AZN

According to latest reports, drug manufacturers Pfizer Inc.(NYSE:PFE) and AstraZeneca plc (ADR)(NYSE:AZN) have entered a deal that gives Pfizer future rights to sell the nonprescription form of Nexium, the blockbuster heartburn drug, Nexium.  This will take effect from 2014.

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The deal was announced on Monday. This can help Pfizer in expanding its consumer health business. The company is always on the lookout of strengthening its core drug-making business and dissociate from its infant formula and animal-health projects. This deal will help AstraZeneca to get some revenue from one of its top sellers after the competition surges. The companies have mentioned that they all are exploring the prospects of a partnership in order to transform AstraZeneca prescription drugs to the non-prescription ones.

Pfizer needs to win approval from the FDA and regulators in other countries to be able to sell the nonprescription Nexium. Nexium treats ulcer and acid-reflux ailments by decreasing excess stomach acid. Its chemical name is esomeprazole.
As per records, Nexium had won the accolade of being the 5th best selling medicine of the year last year. According to a health data firm, IMS drug, the drug has global revenue of about $8 billion. Nexium has long been referred to in the TV ads as the ‘purple pill’ that helps in stopping heartburn for 24 hours.

Viagra-maker Pfizer Inc. has stated that it is targeting at applying to FDA in the first half of 2013 for winning approval for selling Nexium in 20 milligram. This has delayed the release of the capsule. An application to sell the same dosage in form of tablets was filed with the European Medicines Agency in the month of June.

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If Pfizer gets the approval, then its goal would be to release over-the-counter Nexium in the US in 2014. Reports reveal that the drug’s patent is scheduled to expire in the US in spring 2014. The drug-maker plans on selling the product in other countries shortly after that.

Shares of PFE were up 1.10% to $23.98 on Tuesday.

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