Santarus Inc., a specialty biotech company in Carmel Valley, has begun the U.S. launch of Uceris, a treatment for patients with mild or moderate ulcerative colitis.
The move comes one month after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval for Uceris, which was jointly developed by Santarus and Italy’s Cosmo Technologies.
To promote the drug, Santarus (Nasdaq: SNTS) has hired 85 new sales representatives, bringing its total number of sales reps to 235. The company plans to use its entire sales organization to promote Uceris and another drug, Zegerid, to gastroenterologists, while also continuing to promote its three diabetes/metabolic products to endocrinologists and other physicians, said William C. Denby, senior vice president of commercial operations.
Zegerid is a treatment for heartburn and other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
“In addition to our physician outreach, we are implementing patient education programs through social media and medical information websites to provide patients with helpful information about treatment options,” Denby said.
Upon the first commercial sale of Uceris, $7 million is payable to Cosmo in cash or Santarus common stock, at Cosmo’s option.
Because the move has been expected, Santarus’ stock price was flat during morning trading on Wall Street. Its stock price was hovering around $13.40, roughly 20 cents below its 52-week high and $1.30 below the all-time high that it hit in June 2004, three months after it entered the stock market.
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May 7, 2013 -- George Chamberlin speaks with Gerald Proehl, director/president/CEO of Santarus Inc., about the highs and lows of operating a biotech company. Proehl is a semifinalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013 San Diego awards.