Forest Laboratories, Inc. and Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. Announce the Termination of the AZOR Co-Promotion Agreement
NEW YORK and PARSIPPANY, N.J., May 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: FRX), a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company, and Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. today announced that they have terminated their co-promotion agreement for AZOR(TM)* (amlodipine and olmesartan medoxomil), Daiichi Sankyo's fixed-dose combination of two antihypertensives, the calcium channel blocker amlodipine besylate and the angiotensin receptor blocker olmesartan medoxomil. Forest will record a one-time charge of $44.1 million which is composed of a one-time payment to Daiichi Sankyo of $26.6 million related to the termination and $17.5 million related to the unamortized portion of the initial upfront payment.
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The AZOR agreement is the second co-promotion agreement for the two companies. A previous agreement signed in 2002 by Forest to co-promote Benicar(R) (olmesartan medoxomil) and Benicar HCT(R) (olmesartan medoxomil-hydrochlorothiazide) is currently still in force. That agreement specified a co-promotion period, which has been extended to end on May 31, 2008, and a residual period where Forest will continue to receive income from Benicar(R) and Benicar HCT(R) profits, which doesn't expire until March 31, 2014.
Forest has determined that the resources it has allocated to the AZOR co-promotion will be better utilized in providing additional support for Forest's currently marketed products.
Beginning July 1, 2008, Daiichi Sankyo will take sole responsibility for the promotion of AZOR. The company has both expanded its cardiovascular sales capability in recent years and is adding additional capacity in preparation of the potential launch of its investigational anti-platelet agent.
Howard Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Forest, commented: "We have enjoyed a very fruitful partnership with Daiichi Sankyo since our initial collaboration of Benicar which began in 2002. Our decision to reallocate resources to our currently marketed products causes us to forego the opportunity to continue to participate in the promotion of Daiichi Sankyo's excellent product AZOR."
Solomon continued, "However, Daiichi Sankyo and Forest's partnership will continue for another six years during which Forest will have a residual participation in Benicar and Benicar HCT profits, but will not be actively promoting those products. The result of terminating Forest's active promotion of both Benicar and AZOR will make available to Forest the equivalent of an additional 500-person sales force which Forest requires for the support of its proprietary products. We greatly admire Daiichi Sankyo, and we have both benefited from its creative product development, skillful marketing, and the highest standards of ethical partnership."
Daiichi Sankyo President and CEO Joseph P. Pieroni said, "Our first co-promotion agreement with Forest provided us with important additional resources to build our franchise of Benicar and Benicar HCT into significant products in the antihypertensive market while we built our own sales force. Our second co-promotion collaboration for AZOR allowed us to quickly and comprehensively educate the medical community about this new combination antihypertensive. Now we can take over full responsibility for the continued success of these brands."
AZOR was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration September 26, 2007. Forest will continue to co-promote AZOR until June 30, 2008. Health care providers with questions regarding AZOR or any Daiichi Sankyo product should call Daiichi Sankyo at 877 4DSPROD (437-7763).
About Forest Laboratories and Its Products
Forest Laboratories is a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying, developing, and delivering products that make a positive difference in people's lives. Forest Laboratories' growing product line includes Lexapro(R) (escitalopram oxalate), an SSRI indicated for adults for the initial and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder; Namenda(R) (memantine HCl), an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease; Campral(R)** (acamprosate calcium), indicated in combination with psychosocial support for the maintenance of abstinence from alcohol in patients with alcohol dependence who are abstinent at treatment initiation, and Bystolic(R) (nebivolol), a beta-adrenergic receptor blocking agent indicated for the treatment of hypertension.
About Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, is the U.S. subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., one of Japan's leading pharmaceutical companies and a global leader in pharmaceutical innovation whose roots date back to 1899. The company is dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative medicines that improve the lives of patients throughout the world. The primary focus of Daiichi Sankyo's research and development is cardiovascular disease, including therapies for dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, and acute coronary syndrome. The company is also pursuing the discovery of new medicines in the areas of glucose metabolic disorders, infectious diseases, cancer, bone and joint diseases, and immune disorders. For more information, visit www.dsus.com.
* AZOR is a trademark of Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
**Campral is a registered trademark of Merck Sante s.a.s., a subsidiary of
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the difficulty of predicting FDA approvals, the acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, the timely development and launch of new products, and the risk factors listed from time to time in the Forest Laboratories' Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and any subsequent SEC filings.