ECONOMY

Lavipharm seals distribution deal with Dava for US market

Pharmaceutical group Lavipharm has agreed with US Dava Pharmaceutical to distribute its recently approved painkiller product in the American market, the Greek company said yesterday. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light for the distribution of Lavipharm’s Fentanyl transdermal system earlier this month. Lavipharm President Thanassis Lavidas said that the deal with Dava Pharmaceutical is for five years but did not indicate what impact the agreement may have on company profit figures. «The market is big and, regardless of our conservative estimates, the numbers are large,» Lavidas said. The US market for the Fentanyl product is estimated to be worth 1 billion dollars (781 million euros) while in Europe the market size is seen at about 700 million euros. The product is a patch that patients, such as cancer sufferers, use for pain relief. Lavipharm says that it is smaller than other patches used and that the Fentanyl released is 100 times more powerful than morphine. This is the first time a Greek company has obtained permission from the FDA to distribute one of its products in the US. Lavipharm says it also «expects approval for the European market for which it has already signed commercial deals.» Lavipharm shares, which are listed on the Athens bourse, have soared about 260 percent since the FDA granted its approval on August 7. The stock slumped 8.83 percent yesterday to end at 5.16 euros.