Columbia Laboratories, Inc.
) recently renewed a license and supply agreement for Crinone
(progesterone gel), extending it for an additional five years.
This agreement dates back to 1999. On May 18, 2010, the agreement
between the two parties was renewed for a five-year term and was
to expire in May 2015. Subsequent to the recent agreement, the
term will extend to May 2020.
Columbia Labs' Crinone is a vaginal progesterone gel which
utilizes the company's proprietary sustained-release bioadhesive
technology. The product is currently approved in more than 60
countries. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval was
received in May 1997. Merck KGaA's division Merck Serono has
global marketing authorizations for Crinone in all countries
excluding the US. Crinone faces competition from marketed
products like Prometrium and Endometrin.
We note that Merck KGaA recently entered into two
collaborations in March. Firstly, Merck KGaA announced a
strategic deal with Nordic Bioscience Clinical Development A/S
for Merck KGaA's pipeline candidate, sprifermin (recombinant
human FGF-18). Sprifermin is being developed for osteoarthritis
(OA) of the knee. Secondly, the company announced a deal with
) for the promotion of different formulations of Glucophage
(metformin hydrochloride) in China. Glucophage is used for the
treatment of type II diabetes particularly in overweight patients
when diet and exercise alone have failed. As per the agreement,
Merck KGaA and Bristol-Myers will co-promote the drug in China
and share profits.
Merck KGaA carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently,
) looks more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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