12:00 AM
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Jul 29, 2002
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Ebsworth's quick decision on Zavesca

Rather than develop a post-marketing pharmacovigilance system for its Zavesca Gaucher disease treatment and build a sales and marketing force from the ground up, Oxford Glycosciences plc has opted to put these launch responsibilities in the hands of Actelion SA in exchange for a majority share of the European revenues.

"We looked at the infrastructure costs of setting up a European sales team and all the component requirements," said David Ebsworth, the former head of pharmaceuticals at Bayer AG who in May became CEO of Oxford Glycosciences (LSE:OGS; OGSI, Oxford, U.K.). "Selling Zavesca ourselves in Europe just did not make commercial sense."

The oral N-butyldeoxynojirimycin glucosyltransferase inhibitor received an approval recommendation last week from the EU's CPMP to treat mild to moderate type 1 Gaucher patients deemed unsuitable for enzyme replacement therapy.

Zavesca would not have received final European approval until OGS had a post-marketing vigilance system up and running, according to Actelion spokesperson Roland Haefeli. But Actelion (SWX:ATLN, Allschwil, Switzerland) already has a vigilance system in place for its Tracleer bosentan oral endothelin...

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