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Schering-Plough, Novartis and Foradil: Measuring the Need for New Products

Executive Summary

Schering's willingness to take over the marketing responsibilities for Novartis's Foradil respiratory drug, which has been largely superseded by combination products, to some degree measures the depths of Schering's troubles. But it also indicates the kinds of competition small-company in-licensers are likely to face. A whole industry of in-licensing focused players has grown up to sell the non-core products of Big Pharma: if Schering is any indication, the competition for these products is likely to get even more intense.

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Above and Below the Belt in Women's Health Care: Cytyc buys Proxima

Cytyc purchased Proxima Therapeutics, a brachytherapy company with a device to treat breast cancer, for $160 million in cash, following on its acquisition last year of Novacept, a manufacturer of a minimally-invasive endometrial ablation device to treat excessive menstrual bleeding. Three years earlier, Cytyc had acquired Pro-Duct Health, developer of a new test to assess the breast cancer risk of an at-risk patient. Cytyc is clearly going in the direction of creating an overall franchise in women's health, integrating diagnostics and therapeutics, both above and below the belt. But investors want to know that deals don't simply represent a piecemeal, opportunistic approach to business development, but that they fit together in a larger context. It's all about leveraging Cytyc's distribution channel in women's health, says CEO Patrick Sullivan.

Pfizer's Ghost at the Merck-Schering Banquet

Like Banquo's ghost at Macbeth's table, Pfizer Inc. haunts the new collaboration between Merck & Co. Inc. and Schering-Plough Corp. Indeed, without Pfizer, these companies may never have gotten together at all in this innovative co-development and co-promotion alliance which serves both as a patent-extension strategy and an alternative to mergers.

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