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fizer has signed a deal with India’s Aurobindo Pharma which will see the drugs giant significantly expand its generics operations in the USA and Europe.

Under the terms of the agreement, the financial details for which were not disclosed, Pfizer has acquired the rights to 39 generic oral drugs in the USA and 20 in Europe, with an additional 11 in France. The company noted that these medicines cover “a broad range of therapeutic areas including cardiovascular disease and central nervous system disorders”, and will be commercialised in the USA through Pfizer’s Greenstone subsidiary.

Aurobindo has also sold the rights to 12 injectable antibiotics in the USA and Europe, including penicillins and cephalosporins. The move represents Pfizer’s desire to grow its Established Products Business Unit, launched last year to focus on drugs that have lost market exclusivity. The division currently has annual sales of $10 billion globally.

“We will dramatically change Pfizer’s established products portfolio to an engine of positive growth,” said the unit’s president David Simmons. “These agreements represent solid, measurable progress”, he added, noting that the global non-exclusive market represents about $270 billion. This is expected to grow to over $500 billion within the next five years and Pfizer is hoping that generics will generate annual sales exceeding $200 million for the firm in 2013.

Eye care link-up with B&L
On a busy day for the New York-headquartered behemoth, a five-year co-promotion deal has been signed with eye care giant Bausch & Lomb to sell prescription ophthalmic products in the USA.

Under the terms of the deal, the financial aspect of which is once again not being revealed, the sales forces of both companies will market Pfizer's glaucoma drug Xalatan (latanoprost), as well as B&L's conjunctivitis treatment Alrex (loteprednol 0.2%), Lotemax (loteprednol 0.5%) for inflammatory conditions and Zylet (loteprednol/tobramycin) for inflammation and infections,

In addition, the companies will co-promote B&L's anti-infective besifloxacin, if the treatment is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. In December, the agency’s Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of besifloxacin for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis.

“Working in collaboration, our US sales organisations will now represent one of the broadest product offerings” in the country’s ophthalmic market, said Flemming Ornskov, B&L’s global president of pharmaceuticals. Through the deal, “we’ll be able to reach considerably more eye care practitioners,” he added.

Pfizer added that it will continue with three mid-stage ophthalmic development programmes in its own pipeline.