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2008: Biotechnology emerges and fosters the dramatic growth of specialty pharmacy.

Today biotechnology in the pharmacy industry is all the rage, but in 2008 it was still in its infancy. Back then, pharmaceutical biotechnology was a relatively new and growing field in which the principles of biotechnology were applied to the development of drugs. In the market of 10 years ago, a majority of therapeutic drugs were bioformulations, such as antibodies, nucleic acid products and vaccines. That market has grown into the multibillion-dollar industry it is now.

One of the biotech innovators was Eisai Co., which exemplified the trend of pharmaceutical companies purchasing biological drug makers as a way to expand their pipelines. In January of that year, Eisai completed its $3.9 billion purchase of MGI Pharma, based in Bloomington, Minn.

"The addition of MGI's talent, pipeline and products, as well as its research and development and commercial capabilities, will serve to strengthen Eisai's existing oncology franchise," explained Frank Ciriello, senior vice president of the primary care and specialty business unit at Eisai Inc., the United States pharmaceuticals subsidiary of Eisai Co.

Ciriello noted that the acquisition of MGI gave Eisai access to Aloxi, MGI's most important drug. Eisai also gained rights to the Gliadel Wafer, a chemotherapy agent, and Dacogen for myelodysplastic syndromes.

In spring 2008 Eisai made another move in the oncology market with its purchase of Morphotek Inc. for $325 million, expanding its development research network.

Caption: The field is highly specialized.

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Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Oct 8, 2018
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