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Wyeth’s Tygacil antibiotic will be manufactured in Carolina plant

Peak annual sales could reach $1 billion

BY MARIALBA MARTINEZ of Caribbean Business

June 23, 2005
Copyright © 2005 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The recent Food & Drug Administration approval of Wyeth’s Tygacil could add $1 billion in annual sales to the company because of Tygacil’s ability to overcome bacterial resistance commonly found in hospitals or communities.

A broad-spectrum antibiotic, indicated for the treatment of complicated abdominal and skin infections in adults, Tygacil can be used to treat a variety of serious medical conditions such as complex cases of appendicitis, infected burns, intra-abdominal abscesses, deep soft-tissue infections, and infected ulcers.

"Life-threatening infections are a growing concern globally," says Dr. Joseph Camardo, senior vice president of Global Medical Affairs for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. "Bacterial infections are becoming more difficult to treat, with resistant strains on the increase. The approval of Tygacil will provide physicians with an important option for patients with complicated skin, skin structure, and intra-abdominal infections."

Antibiotic-resistance costs in the U.S. have risen more than $4 billion annually, along with increased resistance to bacterial infections. In the past 20 years, development of antibiotics has decreased by 56%. After 9/11, the escalating threat of terrorists’ chemical attacks stateside brought back pharmaceutical companies that had stopped making antibiotics to consider new drugs. Last week, Pfizer Inc. bought Vicuron Pharmaceuticals for $1.9 billion, whose key product is an antibacterial drug called dalbavancin. Johnson & Johnson bought Peninsula Pharmaceuticals, another antibiotic manufacturer, while biotechnology company Cubist Pharmaceuticals is selling Cubicin, an injectable antibacterial licensed from Eli Lilly & Co.

Tygacil will be manufactured in Wyeth’s Carolina production plant, a local company spokesperson confirmed. Wyeth also manufactures in Puerto Rico two of the top-20 prescription drugs sold in the U.S.: antidepressant Effexor and gastroesophageal reflux disease treatment Protonix. It also manufactures Premarin, an estrogen treatment for menopausal women. Respective sales of Effexor, Protonix, and Premarin were $868 million, $409 million, and $211 million, during first quarter 2005.

Tygacil joins Wyeth’s infectious disease treatment area, which includes Zosyn, an injectable pharmaceutical drug with first quarter 2005 sales of $229 million, which is used to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by bacteria.

Tygacil, unlike Zosyn, is approved in a new class of antibiotics called glycylcyclines that overcome resistance to antibiotic use.

Wyeth’s manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico are in Guayama and Carolina and have a combined work force of approximately 1,750 employees. Carolina’s manufacturing site produces such injectable antibiotics as Zosyn and the new Tygacil, while the plant in Guayama manufactures Premarin, Effexor, Lodine, and anticonvulsives for distribution in the U.S. and worldwide. Wyeth ranks among the top-20-largest public companies operating in Puerto Rico, according to the CARIBBEAN BUSINESS 2005 Book of Lists.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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