Actavis plc ACT will have to continue selling Namenda IR following a decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which upheld a Dec 15, 2014 preliminary injunction regarding the continued distribution of Namenda IR.
Namenda IR, approved for the treatment of moderate to severe dementia of the Alzheimer’s type, is scheduled to face generics from mid-July. In order to lessen the impact of genericization, Actavis has been working on switching patients to Namenda XR, a higher dose, once-daily formulation of Namenda IR. The company was looking to discontinue selling Namenda IR which would have facilitated the conversion process. However, with the latest ruling, the company will have to continue selling Namenda IR.
On the first quarter call, Actavis had said that the conversion rate was about 50% with the target being to achieve 60% conversion by the end of the second quarter.
Actavis has also launched Namzaric – a fixed dose combination comprising Namenda XR and Aricept (donepezil). Namenda XR and Aricept are often prescribed together for the treatment of the symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. Namzaric provides patients with a convenient treatment option in the form of a single pill to be taken once-daily. Actavis is looking to support the Namzaric launch through formulary access and direct-to-consumer marketing.
Actavis said that it will work to ensure that the Appeals court’s decision has little to no impact on its 2015 Namenda franchise contribution to earnings as well as its longer term earnings targets. The company had provided preliminary guidance earlier this month – Actavis expects to earn $17.00 – $18.50 per share in 2015 and aspires to earn $25 per share in 2017.