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Nycomed Gets Lung-Drug Deal with Merck

April 26, 2010
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Reuters reports privately owned Swiss drugmaker Nycomed, which is aiming for an eventual IPO, has partnered with Merck & Co to help sell its key lung drug Daxas in Europe and Canada. The deal with one of the world''s biggest pharmaceutical manufacturers is an important validation for the once-daily tablet. It comes after a green light from European regulators recommending Daxas for approval as a maintenance treatment for severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), despite a rebuff in the United States. Nycomed will receive an undisclosed upfront fee from U.S. drugmaker Merck and is eligible for certain payments based on defined regulatory and commercialization milestones for Daxas. Once the drug wins final regulatory clearance, Merck and Nycomed will co-promote Daxas in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Canada. Nycomed will make and distribute the finished product under the agreement. In Britain, Merck will have exclusive commercialization rights but Nycomed has retained a co-promotion option. The positive recommendation for Daxas from the European Medicines Agency, whose experts see it as a useful add-on therapy to inhaled bronchodilator drugs, contrasts with a rejection from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel earlier this month.
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