Merck Eye Drug Salutan Launched in UK and Spain
Thu, 09/03/2009 - 6:23am
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. (AP) — Merck & Co. said Thursday it launched the eye pressure drug Saflutan in the U.K. and Spain. Saflutan is intended to treat elevated pressure inside the eye in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma — the most common type of glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Merck licensed the drug from Santen Pharmaceutical Co. of Japan and is running late-stage clinical testing in the U.S. Merck owns the rights to Saflutan in the Americas, Africa, and all Western European countries except Germany. Santen owns the rights in most of Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Merck will help promote the drug in Germany and Poland, and if Saflutan is approved in the U.S., Santen will have the option to co-promote it. The drug is also marketed as Taflotan and Tapros. Merck licensed the drug in April, and at the time it had been approved in 11 countries, mostly in Europe. Merck said it expects to start selling the drug in other European countries over the next few months.