) recently announced the US launch of Uceris (budesonide)
extended release tablets for the induction of remission in
patients suffering from mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis.
Earlier, Santarus had planned to launch the product in Mar 2013.
Uceris received FDA approval in Jan 2013.
Clinical trials effectively proved the efficacy of Uceris
against placebo with three times the number of patients achieving
remission and mucosal healing compared to placebo. No significant
side effects were noticed with Uceris.
Uceris was jointly developed by Santarus and Cosmo
Technologies Limited, a subsidiary of Cosmo Pharmaceuticals
S.p.A. As per the agreement, Santarus will pay Cosmo $7 million
on the first commercial sale of Uceris in the form of cash or
The commercial launch of Uceris ahead of time is a positive
for Santarus. The company expects Uceris to contribute
significantly to sales growth. At the time of approval, the
company had said that it expects total revenues in the range of
$320-$325 million, representing double-digit growth from the 2012
guidance. The company will jointly promote both Uceris and
Zegerid to gastroenterologists.The company increased its sales
force for this joint promotion.
Currently, companies like
Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd
) have a presence in the ulcerative colitis market.
We are positive on the early launch of Uceris and expect the
product to strengthen the company's portfolio. However, we prefer
to remain on the sidelines until we gain more visibility on
Santarus currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc
) looks better. Valeant Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy). Meanwhile, Salix Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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