Shire taps TAP Pharmaceutical for help in selling Lialda

Shire and TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. reached a three-year agreement Wednesday to co-promote Lialda, a medicine for patients with active, mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis.
Lialda was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in January 2007.

The agreement, which covers only the United States, will add more than 500 additional sales representatives from TAP, of Lake Forest, Ill., to Shire's 120-person sales force, which markets the drug primarily to gastroenterologists.

"With the added expertise of the TAP team, we'll be able to reach more GI specialists as well as primary-care providers with messages about Lialda," said Mike Yasick, senior vice president of Shire's gastrointestinal business unit.

The TAP sales force will begin promoting Lialda to specialists and certain primary-care physicians in April 2008.

Shire (NASDAQ:SHPGY) is based in Basingstoke, England, and has its U.S. headquarters in Wayne, Pa.

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