Press releases

Ferring Acquires NORPROLAC

Lausanne, Switzerland
6 January 2004

Deal will allow Ferring to further expand and diversify its infertility portfolio 

Ferring announced today the closing of a deal with Novartis Pharma AG for the acquisition of the worldwide manufacturing, marketing and distribution rights of NORPROLAC (quinagolide). 

The deal is an important element of Ferring's ongoing business development initiatives to further expand its position as one of the leading players in the female reproductive health and endocrinology.  

NORPROLAC is a prolactin inhibitor indicated for the management of hyperprolactinemia, a disorder that suppresses ovulation by the production of excess levels of the hormone prolactin. 

The global sales of prolactin inhibitors are estimated to be €200 million (2002) and while estimates vary approximately 14% of these prescriptions (Rx) are written for the indication hyperprolactinemia.

The product acts on the pituitary to block the production and release of prolactin. The treatment has shown to be as effective as conventional therapy (reduction in pituitary tumour size) but is better tolerated by patients than conventional therapy in studies. Those patients who are intolerant of the standard treatment are often encouraged to use NORPROLAC. (1)   

Adding NORPROLAC to the portfolio for the treatment of hyperprolactinemia, a cause of infertility should further emphasize Ferring's commitment to the treatment area. 

Hyperprolactinemia occurs more frequently in women as prolactin's primary function is to enhance breast development during pregnancy and to induce lactation. However, when prolactin is in excess it may suppress the sexual hormones gonadotropins thereby affecting ovulation. (2) Aside from sexual functionality, hyperprolactinemia may also pose a long-term risk for osteoporosis.

'Acquiring NORPROLAC for hyperprolactinemia is an important milestone in our business development strategy,' said Michel L. Pettigrew, Chief Operating Officer for the Ferring Group."While we are excited about the opportunities this deal offers Ferring for developing our female reproductive health franchise, we are most delighted about the possibilities of offering patients suffering with the disorder an opportunity to remedy it and become pregnant."

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ferring's reproductive health franchise includes several leading products. REPRONEX is the most prescribed (3) human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) in the US and the highly purified, hMG MENOPUR in Europe has recently indicated clinical superiority over a leading recombinant FSH in the first, head to head international in vitro fertilization (IVF)  clinical treatment trial.(4) Last year, the company in the US also successfully launched BRAVELLE (urofollitropin for injection, purified), the newest highly purified human-derived, follicular stimulating hormone (FSH).

Almost 10 percent of women of child-bearing age are infertile, and one quarter will experience at least one period of infertility during their lives. According to the World Health Organization, between 60 and 80 million couples in the world are infertile. It is estimated that about 1 in 6 couples seek help to achieve a pregnancy.


About Ferring:

Ferring is a research driven, speciality biopharmaceutical group active in global markets.  The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of urology, obstetrics and infertility, gastroenterology and endocrinology.

In recent years Ferring has expanded beyond its traditional European base and now has operating subsidiaries in over 40 countries.

Please visit us at www.Ferring.com

References
Barnett PS; Palazidou: Treatment of macroprolactinomas with quinagolide (versus bromocriptine). Ann Endocrinology 1997
Blackwell RE: Hyperprolactinemia:etiology, diagnosis and treatment alternatives. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1998. Mar;77: 249-62
Data on File.
Platteau P, Smitz J. Does exogenous LH activity influence the treatment outcome in IVF and not in ICSI cycles? Abstract ASRM 2003

For more information, please contact:
Sharmi Albrechtsen
Ferring International Center
Telephone: + 45 28 78 72 09
Email: sharmi.albrechtsen@ferring.com

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