- U.S. Launch of OLEPTRO(TM) on Track for Third Quarter 2010 -
Labopharm Inc. (TSX: DDS; NASDAQ: DDSS) and Gruppo Angelini today announced they have entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture in the United States for the commercialization of OLEPTRO(TM), a novel once-daily formulation of the antidepressant trazodone approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on February 3, 2010.
"This joint venture builds on the foundation of mutual trust and a track record of execution that underlies the co-development relationship we established with Angelini more than four years ago," said James R. Howard-Tripp, President and Chief Executive Officer, Labopharm Inc. "We are very pleased with the opportunity to expand our existing relationship with Angelini, a company that has shown considerable growth as a result of its strong management and marketing expertise."
The joint venture, Angelini Labopharm, will be 50 percent owned by each of Labopharm and Angelini and will be initially managed by Mary Anne Heino, President of Labopharm's US Operations, and her team.
"The global drug development and marketing experience of Labopharm combined with the extensive commercial capabilities of an international enterprise will position us for a strong U.S. launch of OLEPTRO(TM) in the third quarter of this year," stated Heino. "The commercial readiness to launch OLEPTRO(TM), including manufacturing, supply logistics and distribution channels, is now finalized, as are managed market access strategies and medical affairs."
As part of the joint venture agreement, Labopharm will grant Angelini Labopharm the exclusive right to market and sell OLEPTRO(TM) in the United States.
"We are pleased to re-enter the U.S. market with Labopharm's OLEPTRO(TM), a novel formulation of a successful drug that our Company originally developed in our research labs," said Gianluigi Frozzi, Chief Executive Officer of the Pharmaceutical Division, Gruppo Angelini. "Angelini markets trazodone around the world thanks also to out-licensing and export agreements with about 50 partners and we look forward to working together with an experienced partner like Labopharm as we launch OLEPTRO(TM). We also look forward to potentially exploring additional opportunities to leverage the joint venture for OLEPTRO(TM) line-extensions, as well as the introduction of additional products to the U.S. market."