Exeltis will market Solosec along with its existing line of women’s health products, enhancing value for obstetricians and gynecologists and their patients.
ET reported in October of Lupine trying to find a marketing partner or even open up to the idea of a potential sale of its flagship specialty drug Solosec in the United States.
Solosec is prescribed to treat bacterial vaginosis in adult women (a common vaginal infection) and trichomoniasis – a sexually transmitted infection in adults.
“This partnership will expand the reach of Solosec, allowing more healthcare providers to learn about the benefits of Solosec, and increase the access of adult women with bacterial vaginosis and adults with trichomoniasis,” said Veneta Gupta, CEO of Lupine.
“The addition of Solosec fits perfectly with our existing portfolio of products, enhancing our commercial strategy, and offering many solutions to our customers and their patients,” said Salustiano Perez, CEO of Exeltis.
Lupin acquired Symbiomix Therapeutics for a payment of $150 million in October 2017.
The drug was approved by the USFDA in September 2017, with a 10-year marketing exclusivity. Lupine said earlier that it would spend $45-50 million year on year on promotions, the highest the Mumbai-based drugmaker has spent on any single drug. Lubin had earlier predicted that the drug would level off by fiscal year 22, but things didn’t go as expected.
While Solosec is a promising product with few side effects and convenient for patients since it is just a single dose, absorption has been slow. The product faced competition from the cheaper generic antibiotic metronidazole, and COVID lockdowns didn’t help.
Lubin took Rs 708 crore as an impairment charge on Solosec citing “adverse market conditions”.
The company also said it had reduced its front-end sales force to zero, and had taken impersonal actions in promoting the property. The company prior to COVID had a front sales team of 120 people.