ALISO VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVNR) today announced that it has entered into an exclusive, multi-year agreement with Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to co-promote Merck's type 2 diabetes therapies JANUVIA ® (sitagliptin) and the sitagliptin family of products in the long-term care institutional setting in the United States.
"As a company dedicated to the advancement of diabetes care, we are excited to partner with Avanir to help improve diabetes management and offer our type 2 diabetes therapies to this patient population," said Peter Alberti, U.S. marketing leader, Diabetes, Merck. "We believe that combining Merck's leadership in diabetes with Avanir's unique capabilities will help this growing population get the diabetes care they need."
Avanir's institutional sales force will promote the sitagliptin family of products to health care practitioners in the long-term care institutional setting beginning in October 2013. Under the terms of this agreement, Avanir will be compensated via a fixed fee plus an incentive-based payment. Merck will continue to remain responsible for the promotion of the sitagliptin family of products in all other settings and will remain responsible for all other aspects of research, manufacturing and marketing."We are extremely pleased to enter this agreement with Merck for its key diabetes therapies. This agreement will further advance our vision to become a leading specialty biopharmaceutical company and drive our commercial operations forward," said Rohan Palekar, chief commercial officer at Avanir. "Our sales force is well established within the institutional setting and should be able to expand the adoption of Merck's diabetes therapies based on their deep understanding of the treatment needs of these physician and patient populations." About JANUVIA ® (sitagliptin) 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg tablets JANUVIA is indicated, as an adjunct to diet and exercise, to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus. JANUVIA should not be used in patients with type 1 diabetes or for the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis. JANUVIA has not been studied in patients with a history of pancreatitis. It is unknown whether patients with a history of pancreatitis are at increased risk of developing pancreatitis while taking JANUVIA.