Better taste helps lavage go down

May 22, 1991

Braintree Laboratories of Braintree, MA, began selling a new generationof oral gastric lavage for prepping gastrointestinal examinationsthis month. Nulytely has the same clinical efficacy and safetyprofile as Braintree's Golytely lavage, but it tastes

Braintree Laboratories of Braintree, MA, began selling a new generationof oral gastric lavage for prepping gastrointestinal examinationsthis month. Nulytely has the same clinical efficacy and safetyprofile as Braintree's Golytely lavage, but it tastes better,said Peter Kenney, vice president of marketing and sales.

"Patients will have better (GI) exams because they aregoing to drink more. They will be more compliant," he said.

Nulytely, like Golytely, is indicated for cleansing the bowelprior to colonoscopy. It is also used in prepping some air contrastbarium enema GI exams, he said.

Patients commonly drink only about half the recommended lavagedosage in preparing for GI exams, Kenney said. Braintree expectsthe patient compliance rate will rise to 75% to 90% with the bettertasting lavage.

"As a result, they are simply going to get better preps.That translates into better exams in the real world," hesaid.

About 2.5 million to 3 million GI exams are performed eachyear using colonoscopy or barium enemas, for which the Braintreelavage is applicable, he said.

Colonoscopy exams are controlled by gastroenterologists, whileradiologists perform the barium contrast x-ray procedures. TheGI market, once dominated by barium exams, has shifted in favorof colonoscopies, Kenney said.

"In total, GI exams continue to increase year after year,but more have switched to colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are goingup, while barium enemas are remaining basically constant. Whereascolonoscopy used to make up a minute part (of total GI exams),now it is used in a majority of procedures," he said.

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Cytogen signed a letter of intent this month with KnollAG, a subsidiary of BASF AG of Ludwigshafen, Germany, to cooperatein U.S. marketing and sales of the firm's first two monoclonalantibody-based nuclear imaging agents. OncoScint CR103 and OncoScintOV103, for colorectal and ovarian cancer imaging, respectively,are awaiting Food and Drug Administration market approval. Knoll'sU.S. company is Knoll Pharmaceutical of Whippany, NJ.

The smaller biotechnology firm will develop its own sales forceto work with Knoll representatives in targeting surgeons, oncologistsand nuclear medicine physicians, said George Ebright, chairmanand CEO. Cytogen would not comment further on the Knoll partnership,since the firm is in a quiet period prior to a public offeringof 2 million shares of common stock at $14.75 per share, as announcedlast week.

Cytogen of Princeton, NJ, is already working with a marketingpartner, EuroCetus, in Europe, where the approval process forOncoScint is farther advanced (SCAN 2/27/91). An application forthe colorectal agent has been made to the Committee for ProprietaryMedicinal Products of the European Community. Cytogen's firstnational approvals in Europe could come as early as summer.

  • Immunomedics ended negotiations this month with BoehringerIngelheim International, a German pharmaceutical company. Boehringerbegan discussions in February with Immunomedics on licensing theU.S. firm's monoclonal antibody imaging agents for manufacturingand distribution in Europe (SCAN 2/27/91).

Immunomedics is actively negotiating with more than one othercompany about licensing and marketing alliances in various marketsthroughout the world, said Russell McLauchlan, president. A letterof understanding signed with Boehringer had prevented the conclusionof those talks, he said.

The biotechnology company is not in a bind for funds, McLauchlansaid. It raised $4 million through a private stock placement inMarch. Immunomedics sold 80,000 shares of convertible preferredstock at $50 a share. Proceeds were targeted to fund the firm'sclinical research program and general corporate needs.

  • Sales for the pharmaceutical division of Schering AG areprojected to grow by 6% this year, according to the German company's1990 annual report. U.S. and Japanese sales of Magnevist, thefirm's gadolinium-DTPA magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent,will provide the main impetus behind this growth, the companysaid.