Malvern's Auxilium-GSK strike marketing deal

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Malvern said Monday that it struck a marketing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to help sell Testim, Auxilium's prescription testogerone gel for men.

GSK will use its much bigger sales force to promote the replacement therapy to doctors, particularly primary care physicians, who would write prescriptions for the drug. GSK already has a range of cardiovascular, metabolic and urology drugs that might be promoted to the same group of doctors.

GSK is based in London, but has a big Center City presence and facilities in the Philadelphia suburbs.

The two companies agreed on a baseline expectation of sales. GSK gets paid a portion of net sales that exceed the baseline, according to a statement from Auxilium. Depending on how things go, GSK could get paid more when the agreement ends on Sept. 30, 2015.

Male hypogonadism results from insufficient secretion of testosterone and is characterized by low serum testosterone concentrations, Auxilium said in a statement. Symptoms include decreased sexual desire with or without impotence, fatigue and loss of energy, mood depression, regression of secondary sexual characteristics, and osteoporosis.

This drug was not tested on men under the age of 18.

According to Auxilium, Testim is a clear, topical gel containing 1% testosterone, the same type of hormone that is produced by the human body. The gel is applied once-daily to the upper arms and shoulders and is absorbed into the bloodstream, with the intention that it would help return testosterone to normal levels.

“Today, GlaxoSmithKline and Auxilium have forged a collaboration to expand our reach to U.S. physicians who treat men with low testosterone and its resulting symptoms, known as hypogonadism, which we believe is a prevalent, but poorly recognized condition,” Adrian Adams, chief executive officer and president of Auxilium, said in a statement. “While the Auxilium sales force has consistently performed well in an increasingly competitive environment, adding the strength and breadth of GSK’s U.S. commercialization organization will further enhance our sales efforts with U.S. physicians who treat this condition.”

Cheryl MacDiarmid, vice president of GSK’s cardiovascular/metabolic/urology business unit, said in the statement, “Urology remains one of GSK’s key therapeutic areas, and our sales professionals are well positioned to provide physicians with information on the treatment of hypogonadism. We look forward to our collaboration with Auxilium and adding Testim to our portfolio so we can help meet the needs of men with this condition.”