Press review

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Aguettant boosts pre-filled syringe production at plant in south east France

PARIS, 26 July (APM) - Aguettant, which specialises in pre-filled syringes, is ramping up production at its factory in the Ardeche, south east France, Les Echos reports on Friday (p.15).
A fifth production line, capable of producing 23 million pre-filled syringes a year, will be completed at the beginning of 2020, following investment of €9 million.
The Ardeche factory currently employs 120 people and produces 35 million to 40 million ampoules, nine million vials and 600,000 canisters a year.
Aguettant's pre-filled syringes are primarily intended for healthcare professionals in three areas: anaesthesia, neurology and paediatrics.
In the past five years, the company has seen its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) grow 17% annually.
In 2019, its sales are likely to grow by almost €20 million to €149 million. It invests 5% of sales in R&D and its pre-development pipeline is full until at least 2025.

Sanofi to sell OTC flu treatment Tamiflu in U.S.

Sanofi has bought the rights to sell Roche's Tamiflu (oseltamivir) over-the-counter (OTC) in the U.S., reported Les Echos on Wednesday (p.17) (APMHE 63792).
Roche will continue to market Tamiflu in the rest of the world.
Sanofi will now have to negotiate with the U.S. health authorities for authorisation to market the drug in this way. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 31 million people catch flu in the country every year.
This is not the first time Sanofi has adapted a prescription drug into an OTC one in the U.S. and then worldwide, added the economic daily. Sanofi has already transformed antihistamine Allegra (fexofenadine) and allergy drug Nasacort (triamcinolone) from prescription only to OTC drugs.
Le Figaro also reported on the topic on Thursday (p.27).

New head for AbbVie Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa

Jérôme Bouyer will take over as head of AbbVie Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa from 1 August, reported Le Figaro in a brief on Tuesday (p.23).
Bouyer currently works as general manager UK and has worked for AbbVie since 2012.

End in sight for mother fighting UCB Pharma for son's compensation

The end is in site for Sylvie Le Cossec, a mother fighting UCB Pharma for compensation for her son, reported Libération on Monday (p.24).
Le Cossec's eldest son Julien, is severely handicapped, his vision is impaired and has epilepsy, due to the fact the Le Cossec took UCB Pharma's Distilbène (diethylstilbestrol) while pregnant. The drug was meant to provide support for women with a history of miscarriage and yet was banned in 1977 after being found dangerous in 1970.
Le Cossec has been fighting UCB Pharma for compensation for 10 years and managed to get Julien €660,000 in compensation in 2016, but the pharma appealed this decision.
Le Cossec has heard horrific things over this decade, including one UCB Pharma doctor telling her that there was a ''secondary benefit'' to her son's disabilities, as she would never have to ''deal with an empty nest", but the end looks to be in sight as the lawsuit is set to finish this autumn.

Bayer appeals against French farmer

Bayer is appealing against a French cereal farmer who has won several lawsuits against Monsanto, which the German pharma bought a year ago, accusing its product Lasso of having poisoned him in 2004, reported Les Echos in a brief on Monday (p.16).
Paul Francois, the farmer in question, was poisoned after inhaling Lasso fumes in April 2004. He is claiming damages of €1 million, saying he suffered from serious neurological problems which both Bayer and Monsanto deny, La Croix also reported in a brief on Monday (p.8). Lasso was finally banned in France in 2007.

Bayer sells Dr Scholl footcare brand

Bayer has sold its Dr Scholl footcare brand to the U.S. fund Yellow Wood Partners for $585 million, reported Le Figaro in a brief on Tuesday (p.23).
Bayer sold off the sun cream brand Coppertone in May.
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