Teva pulls migraine patch Zecuity on reports of burning, scarring

Teva

So much for the $114 million Teva shelled out to get its hands on Zecuity developer NuPathe. After less than a year on the market, the Israeli drugmaker is pulling the migraine patch.

Monday, the company announced that it would stop sales, marketing and distribution of the product on post-marketing reports of burning and scarring at the patch application site. Teva has also launched a recall of the med from pharmacies.

The discontinuation follows an FDA alert on the drug from earlier this month that cited “severe redness, pain, skin discoloration, blistering, and cracked skin.”

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“At Teva, the wellbeing of people using our products is always the first priority,” Teva CEO of global specialty meds Rob Koremans said in a statement, noting that the company would “continue our investigation into the root cause of these adverse skin reactions” and work closely with regulators to resolve any outstanding questions.

It’s a blow to the Petah Tikva-based generics giant, which nabbed NuPathe in 2014 in its quest to bulk up on the specialty side before Copaxone copies hit. And while that process took longer than industry-watchers expected--allowing Teva to switch the majority of patients over to a long-lasting, patent-protected formulation of its multiple sclerosis superstar--the therapy still took a hit last year, recording a 14% decline to $960 million and coming in shy of the billion-dollar tally analysts expected.

Meanwhile, Teva is also working hard to close the $40-billion deal for Allergan’s generics unit that it expects to solidify its No. 1 position in the generics space. After coming to terms on the acquisition last summer, the companies have been making divestments to satisfy antitrust regulators; Monday, India’s Dr. Reddy’s said it had agreed to pick up 8 drugs from Teva--including one already-marketed treatment--for $350 million.

- read Teva's release

Special Report: Top 20 generics companies by 2014 revenue - Teva

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