* AMR101 a rival for Glaxo’s fish oil-based drug Lovaza
LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) - Amarin Corp Plc (AMRN.O) said on Tuesday it had signed contracts with new suppliers to make its heart pill AMR101 as it gears up for an “aggressive” launch of the experimental drug.
AMR101 has performed well in two late-stage studies, making it a potentially strong competitor for GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s (GSK.L) fish oil-based medicine Lovaza.
Both drugs contain omega-3 fatty acids and are designed to treat patients with very high levels of triglycerides, a blood fat that contributes to heart disease alongside cholesterol.
Amarin, with offices in Mystic, Connecticut, and Dublin, said it had added two active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) suppliers — taking the total number of API suppliers to three — and two encapsulators for AMR101.
“We believe that the addition of these suppliers position us, subject to regulatory approval, for an aggressive launch of AMR101,” said Amarin CEO Joseph Zakrzewski.
The company said previously it was in talks for a marketing partnership on its key pipeline drug and analysts believe AMR101 could reach the market in the first half of 2012.
GlaxoSmithKline holds marketing rights to Lovaza in the United States and Puerto Rico, while Norway’s Pronova BioPharma ASA PRON.OL owns the patents for Lovaza. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Louise Heavens)