The company bought the rights to the antibiotic from Eli Lilly
Vancocin hasn't been under patent for many years now, but generic-drug makers like Teva Pharmaceutical
More than three years ago, the FDA said it was considering letting generics onto the market with less-expensive laboratory tests. As the agency twiddled its thumbs, ViroPharma kept on milking.
Unfortunately, the FDA finally got around to convening a panel of experts Tuesday, and they unanimously agreed that the agency should approve generic versions of Vancocin without requiring them to be tested in clinical trials.
So where does that leave ViroPharma once it loses its cash cow? It still has an up-and-coming drug, Cinryze, which treats hereditary angioedema, a rare swelling disease. With $267 million in cash and equivalents, the company is in OK shape to start rebuilding its pipeline. ViroPharma may also become a takeover target for a larger orphan-drug maker like Genzyme
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