H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck) and Merck, known outside the United States and Canada as MSD, today announced a commercialization agreement for SYCREST® (asenapine) sublingual tablets (5 mg, 10 mg). Under the terms of the agreement, Lundbeck will pay an undisclosed fee as well as product supply payments in exchange for exclusive commercial rights to SYCREST in all markets outside the United States, China and Japan. Lundbeck expects to launch SYCREST in the European Union (EU), where it is already approved, at the beginning of 2011. Merck will retain exclusive commercial rights to asenapine in the United States, China and Japan. Merck has launched asenapine in the United States under the brand name SAPHRIS® (asenapine) sublingual tablets (5 mg, 10 mg).
“This agreement highlights our strategic focus on late-stage specialty central nervous system (CNS) products and our ambition to provide long-term growth opportunities for Lundbeck”
"We are very pleased to be collaborating with Lundbeck on this important commercial milestone. Lundbeck has extensive experience in psychiatry and is the ideal partner to provide physicians and their patients with access to this important medicine in the markets where they will commercialize SYCREST," said Beverly Lybrand, senior vice president and general manager, neuroscience and ophthalmology, Merck. "Merck will continue to focus our efforts on marketing SAPHRIS in the United States as part of our ongoing commitment to researching, developing and delivering medicines in the neurosciences disease area."
"This agreement highlights our strategic focus on late-stage specialty central nervous system (CNS) products and our ambition to provide long-term growth opportunities for Lundbeck," said Ulf Wiinberg, president & chief executive officer at Lundbeck. "We are very pleased to include SYCREST in our existing portfolio of specialty CNS products and see great opportunities to leverage our highly dedicated sales infrastructure."