Forest Labs, Almirall to develop asthma drug

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2009 5:05 PM

Forest Laboratories Holdings Ltd. said Wednesday it will pay Spanish drug developer Almirall SA $75 million upfront to collaborate on a potential asthma treatment using an experimental Almirall drug.

The companies will develop the drug compound, labeled LAS100977, in combination with a corticosteroid using Almirall's Genuair inhaler for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Forest Laboratories Holdings is a subsidiary of New York-based Forest Laboratories Inc. The company said it also will make future milestone and sales-based royalty payments to Almirall and take responsibility for seeking U.S. regulatory approval and marketing.

LAS100977 has shown very encouraging results in the completed Phase II studies, and we believe it will be a very competitive entrant in this large drug class," said Forest Chairman and CEO Howard Solomon, in a statement.

The company said a once-daily LAS100977/corticosteroid combination in the Genuair device could be an attractive alternative for patients to currently available twice-daily regimens.

Shares of Forest fell 34 cents to close at $31.55.