CoCensys remodels its model

CoCensys Inc. 's foray into the world of accelerated commercialization ended last week with the sale of its pharmaceutical sales and marketing division to Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. 's Watson Laboratories Inc. subsidiary. The move returned COCN to a more conventional model of R&D for neurological disorders combined with partnerships with larger pharmaceutical companies. President and CEO Richard Nichol said the company's sales force had become "a drain on us from a financial standpoint and a managerial standpoint." COCN (Irvine, Calif.) had hoped to use revenue from the sale of other companies' approved drugs to fund its own R&D, but ultimately found it did not have sufficient funds to acquire products to market. "If you're going to grow a contract sales and marketing organization, you better have capital available," Nichol said. "When you have a sales force carrying two products, you're probably three products short of capacity." COCN had recently lost co-promotion of Parke-Davis' Cognex for Alzheimer's disease, but had acquired Parke-Davis' Zarontin for pediatric epilepsy to go along with Somerset Pharmaceuticals' Eldepryl selegiline for Parkinson's disease. Rather than continue the hunt for marketed drugs for the sales force, or choosing to dissolve the sales force

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