BioWorld International Correspondent

MUNICH, Germany - Schering AG spun out its dermatology operations into a wholly owned subsidiary that will be known as Intendis GmbH. The company said that it will be a fully integrated pharmaceutical firm, developing and marketing treatments for skin disorders.

Intendis initially will concentrate on eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and fungal infections while broadening its global reach.

"The reason for the separate business is that we can give dermatology the attention it needs, focusing entirely on dermatology and our key customers," Wolfgang Kehr, chairman of Intendis, told BioWorld International. "We will start by growing our business with the current portfolio [of drugs] and then aiming for 8 percent annual growth through organic growth and our pipeline."

Intendis is a limited liability corporation, rather than a joint stock company.

Detlev Hessenbruch, the company's chief financial officer, told BioWorld International: "For us this is not the right time to go public. We have to focus on developing markets and products." He did not rule out a future attempt.

As a part of Schering, of Berlin, Intendis brought in net sales of about $200 million in 2004. It also has a treatment for psoriasis that is in Phase I testing and treatments for nail mycosis and for eczema that are in preclinical testing.

"We will consider acquisitions, in-licensing and partnerships with biotech companies" to increase the company's pipeline, Kehr said. "We are looking wherever we can find opportunities."

"We are not under great pressure, however, because we have a number of products to launch in 2005, 2006 and 2007," he added. Those products are largely new formulations of existing products.

Eugene O'Keefe, the director for development, acknowledged the gaps in the company's pipeline. "We would like to fill them, and the best way is through in-licensing projects," he said.

Intendis will continue internal research, as well. "We will have an exclusive option for dedicated dermatology substances going through the Schering research process," Kehr said. "T-cell mediated diseases are important" over the long term, he added.

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