Alliance Pharma says unlikely to regain full market share for ImmuCyst

Wed Jul 3, 2013 10:33am EDT
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By Abhirup Roy

(Reuters) - Britain's Alliance Pharma ALAPH.L does not expect bladder cancer drug ImmuCyst to regain the 90 percent market share it held in the UK as the company gets ready to restart supplies that were halted last year due to problems at a plant.

Alliance Pharma holds the rights to sell ImmuCyst — made by the vaccines unit of Sanofi SA (SASY.PA: Quote) — in the UK and Ireland and expects to start selling the drug in the first half of 2014.

"We'll have to start from zero in the first half of next year and build up again," founder and Chief Executive John Dawson told Reuters.

"It's going to be a more gradual build to a market share level. I mean, we don't realistically see that we will get back to 90 percent."

Production of ImmuCyst was suspended in mid-2012 after mould was found in Sanofi Pasteur's 100-year-old manufacturing plant in Toronto, Canada. Sanofi Pasteur said it expects production to start later this year and distribution to begin in early 2014.

Rival drug OncoTICE, manufactured by Merck Sharp and Dohme and marketed by Organon Laboratories Ltd, has captured most of ImmuCyst's market share over the past year.

Alliance Pharma, which markets more than 60 products, said it is currently renegotiating terms of the ImmuCyst agreement with Sanofi Pasteur.

"There's got to be enough economic incentive for us to do that starting off from zero," CEO Dawson said.   Continued...