FYI: Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc (HMRI) Seeks to Divest Drug License

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Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc (HMRI), formerly Marion Merrell Dow, Inc., has requested Federal Trade Commission approval to divest a license of dicyclomine, a medication used in the treatment of irritable-bowel syndrome, to Endo Laboratories, L.L.C. The application will be placed on the public record and will be subject to public comment for 30 days, until November 6.

HMRI is a Kansas City, Missouri-based corporation. Endo Labs is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dupont Merck Pharmaceutical Company, based in Wilmington, Delaware, and manufactures generic pharmaceuticals.

Prior FTC approval of the licensing arrangement is required under a 1994 Commission order that resulted from the FTC's challenge of Marion Merrell Dow's purchase of Rugby-Darby. The Commission had alleged that Marion Merrell Dow and Rugby-Darby were the only two Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved competitors in the manufacture and sale of dicyclomine in the United States. The complaint charged that the acquisition eliminated direct competition between the companies and created a monopoly in the manufacture and sale of dicyclomine medications. Under the final order, Marion Merrell Dow is required to license dicyclomine formulation and production technology to a Commission-approved third party within 12 months, and to contract manufacture dicyclomine for the third party while that party awaits FDA approval to manufacture and sell its own dicyclomine.

In its application for approval of the licensing arrangement, HMRI states that Endo clearly is competent to obtain FTC approval and "thus the divestiture will remedy the alleged harm to competition as stated in the Commission's complaint."

Comments on the application should be addressed to the FTC, Office of the Secretary, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

Copies of the application and other documents in this matter are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at:

(FTC File No. 941 0019)

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