Scios Nova Inc. and McNeil Pharmaceutical have joined forcesto market the neuroleptic drug Haldol Decanoate to communitypsychiatric centers.

The drug, which is an injectable, long-acting compound that hasbeen used for controlling psychotic symptoms for more than 25years, was developed and commercialized by McNeil, which is asubsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

It provides a gradual release of medication over a four-weekperiod. The parties hope its use will reduce the rate of relapseamong schizophrenic patients who are being treated on anoutpatient basis by psychiatrists.

The agreement, which the companies announced Wednesday,provides for Scios Nova of Mountain View, Calif., and McNeil toco-promote Haldol Decanoate in the U.S. McNeil of Raritan, N.J.,will manufacture and distribute the product.

Scios Nova (NASDAQ:SCIO) will receive quarterly paymentsfrom McNeil based on increases in sales. The agreement is forfive years, with an option to extend it for another three.

For Scios Nova, this means one more revenue-generatingproduct to add to the four SmithKline Beecham psychiatricdrugs it has been marketing since July 1990; Thorazine,Stelazine, Eskalith and Parnate. In 1992, these four productsgenerated net sales of $44 million and an operating profit forScios Nova of $4.5 million -- profits that can be used to fuelR&D.

The addition of Haldol Decanoate enables Scios Nova to "expandthe potential of our sales and marketing organization and togenerate additional cash flow to support our research anddevelopment programs," said Richard Casey, the company'schief executive officer.

Any real profits from sales of Haldol Decanoate, however,probably won't show up on Scios Nova's books until 1994,company spokeswoman Kira Bacon told BioWorld.

"Because we are receiving quarterly payments, in the nearterm, we will be able to absorb most of the expenses associatedwith product promotion. We don't expect an impact eitherpositively or negatively in 1993," she said. "In 1994, we'll beramped up and ready to go; that's when we'll see the impact ofan increase in sales."

-- Jennifer Van Brunt Senior Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.