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J&J Unit To Stop Selling Skin Treatment In Canada

From Associated Press (April 12, 2010)

Swiss drug maker Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. said a unit of U.S. health care products company Johnson & Johnson plans to stop selling the skin infection treatment ceftobiprole in Canada.

Janssen-Ortho Inc. will stop selling the drug in Canada April 16 due in part to recent decisions from both U.S. and European regulators not to approve the drug, Basilea said Friday.

J&J said in February it had ended a partnership to develop the highly touted drug for MRSA and other dangerous skin infections, after European regulators rejected it over concerns that data from tests run by J&J were not reliable. U.S. regulators turned it down in December.

MRSA, a type of staph infection, is a growing public health concern as it becomes more common -- and increasingly resistant to current antibiotics.

Basilea discovered the antibiotic compound and had granted J&J an exclusive worldwide license five years ago for a drug some analysts thought would be a blockbuster.

J&J returned global rights to Basilea for the drug, which had only been approved in Canada and Switzerland.


Posted: April 2010

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