Triangle Pharmaceuticals Seeking Partner for AIDS Drug Marketing
Durham, N.C.-based Triangle Pharmaceuticals, which holds the rights to the experimental antiretroviral drug Coviracil, is looking for a "successful AIDS franchise" to join the company in marketing the drug, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. In 1999 Triangle signed a co-marketing agreement for the drug with Abbott Laboratories but ended the partnership last month and reacquired the exclusive rights for Coviracil and three other experimental drugs. Triangle CEO Daniel Welch said that the company will be "better off" partnering with a company other than Abbott because the two pharmaceutical companies had begun to have "diverg[ing]" interests: Abbott is currently promoting its AIDS drug Kaletra as a way for patients to take lower doses of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors such as Coviracil. Coviracil has not yet received FDA marketing approval, but Triangle plans to submit the application next month. In addition, Triangle plans to hire its own sales team dedicated to Coviracil to work with the partner company to promote the drug to physicians. Welch said, "We just can't [market Coviracil] alone. Drug development is so expensive. Commercialization is so expensive" (Ranii, Raleigh News & Observer, 8/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.