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Genentech to Stop Selling Type of Growth Hormone

June 02, 2004|From Bloomberg News

Genentech Inc. and Alkermes Inc. said Tuesday that they would stop making Nutropin Depot, a long-acting treatment for growth hormone deficiency in children, in a move that Alkermes said would reduce its revenue for the year.

The companies said it was too costly to continue making and marketing the product.

Nutropin Depot, approved in 1999 by U.S. regulators, is a form of the human growth hormone somatropin. Genentech, based in South San Francisco, said it would continue to sell the rest of its Nutropin line. Sales of the biotech giant's five growth hormone products were $322 million last year, of which 5% was from Nutropin Depot.

Alkermes, based in Cambridge, Mass., lowered its estimate for revenue in the year ending March 31 to $90 million to $120 million, from $95 million to $125 million.

Alkermes, which made Nutropin Depot using its own extended-release drug delivery system, said the discontinuation would reduce manufacturing costs for the year by about $4 million.

Shares of Genentech, which is majority owned by Roche Holding, rose 61 cents to $60.42 on the New York Stock Exchange before the news was announced. Alkermes shares rose 29 cents, or 2%, to $14.69 on Nasdaq.

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