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GENEPHARM BEGINS REGISTRATION OF FIVE ANTI-CANCER DRUGS.

Generic medicines pharmaceutical company Genepharm Australasia (ASX:GAA), Melbourne, has submitted for registration with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) five important generic anti-cancer drugs which the company plans to distribute during the next financial year. It is estimated that the cost to Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for these five drugs is $30-40 million annually.

Since listing in June 2004 these are Genepharm's first drug targets of a total of 40-50 product submissions in its first three years.

Genepharm has also signed distribution agreements with Australia's two leading hospital pharmacy distributors, Clifford Hallam and Cottman Australia. Clifford Hallam is the largest supplier of hospital pharmacy products in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania and Cottman Australia has dominant hospital supply market positions in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The five anti-cancer drugs being registered by Genepharm are all currently off-patent, with only one generic competitor in Australia.

"Genepharm's experienced regulatory team works closely with the TGA and expects registration for these generic drugs to be completed beginning in the last quarter of this financial year," said Mr Dennis Bastas, CEO and managing director of Genepharm.

"Genepharm's business strategy is based on successful TGA registration for its drug products, securing strong hospital and pharmacy distribution network partnerships and launching a differentiated sales and marketing strategy. Positioning Genepharm in these first five products and securing comprehensive hospital distribution is significant early progress in our business strategy.

"Australasia is one of the world's fastest growing generic pharmaceutical markets with 40 percent annual growth expected over the next five years. Genepharm is quickly establishing a foothold in this uplift.

"The Australian hospital pharmacy market is estimated to be worth $1.1 billion annually. When the Australian TGA and New Zealand's Medsafe merge and reciprocate drug approvals from July 2005 Genepharm's market will expand in time for our first product distribution," stated Bastas.

Malcolm Cole, managing director of Clifford Hallam, said: "We are delighted to distribute Genepharm's range of anti-cancer products, maintaining Clifford Hallam's ability to supply the broadest range of products to hospitals."

Clifford Hallam Pharmaceuticals, owned by Spotless Group Limited (ASX: SPT), distributes to over 200 hospital and hospital groups.

Sam Di-Giacomo, director of Cottman Australia and Advance Healthcare, said: "We currently do not distribute generic versions of the five chemotherapy drugs so our Genepharm collaboration is a big positive for both businesses. Cottman Australia sees the partnership with Genepharm as one with many future possibilities."

Cottman Australia is owned by Advance Healthcare Group Limited (ASX: AHG).

About Genepharm

Genepharm Australasia (ASX: GAA) is a specialist generic pharmaceutical company developing, distributing and marketing a premium range of generic pharmaceuticals in Australia and New Zealand. With its partnership with Europe's Genepharm SA, Genepharm Australasia has access to over 100 generic pharmaceuticals including 30 of the top 100 PBS prescription pharmaceuticals. The company has begun registration of 40-50 products in the next three years, securing distribution partners and building a strong marketing capability. Generic pharmaceuticals are expected to increase almost threefold to an estimated $2billion in dispensed value by 2008. Genepharm Australasia listed on the ASX in June 2004.
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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Date:Oct 1, 2004
Words:518
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