Combining drugs into a single pill or shot can be a good way to boost sales of an already-approved drug. GlaxoSmithKline
On Friday, the drugmaker announced that the Food and Drug Administration issued a complete response letter for MenHibrix, its combination vaccine against both meningococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) diseases. In typical pharma fashion, the company didn't give investors much clue about what the FDA needs for approval. The real losers here are kids who might otherwise get more immunity with fewer shots.
Yesterday, the combo-drug karma turned in Glaxo's favor, when the FDA approved Jalyn. This combination of Glaxo's Avodart and Flomax is sold by Astellas and Boehringer Ingelheim, but it's recently seen its patents expire. Both drugs treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Combining patented drugs with generics is a fairly common strategy for drugmakers. Merck
In Jalyn's case, that's especially important, given the crowded BPH space. In addition to branded drugs such as sanofi-aventis's
Jalyn probably won't be a blockbuster in its own right, but every incremental increase in sales still helps.
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Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. The Fool owns shares of GlaxoSmithKine. The Fool's disclosure policy is a combination of disclosures in a policy form.
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