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Abbott to purchase Solvay pharma

Abbott's purchase of Solvay's pharma business will give it full control of the TriCor cholesterol drug and a bigger presence in emerging markets

Abbott Laboratories' purchase of Solvay SA's pharmaceutical business will give it full control of the TriCor cholesterol drug and a bigger presence in emerging markets.

Abbott will pay €4.5bn in cash, with €300m in contingent payments between 2011 and 2013.

The purchase lowers Abbott's dependence on the arthritis drug Humira, which had $4.5bn sales in 2008, reducing Humira's share from 18 per cent to 15 per cent of Abbott's total sales. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2010, pending antitrust approval from both the EU and US.

TriCor uses the active ingredient fenofibrate and accounts for about 20 per cent of Brussels-based Solvay's pharmaceutical sales. The company also makes chemicals and plastics. Last year, TriCor (which Abbott co-promotes with Solvay) generated $1.34bn in revenue and €511m for Solvay.

In 2011 TriCor faces generic competition and Abbott is seeking regulatory approval to market TriLipix in combination with AstraZeneca's Crestor. Trilipix (which also has fenofibrate as its active ingredient) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008 for use in combination with a statin. Abbott salesforce already co-promote Crestor in the US.

At the time of the FDA approval, Eugene Sun, MD, vice-president, global pharmaceutical clinical development at Abbott said: "Abbott built a robust clinical programme to support the use of Trilipix, and its approval adds a new option to Abbott's growing dyslipidemia portfolio which provides treatments to comprehensively help address all three key lipids."


28th September 2009


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