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Actavis buys infectious disease specialist Durata

Will acquire US-approved Dalvance as part of the deal

Actavis logo Actavis has agreed a $675m deal to buy Durata Therapeutics and claim the latter's antibiotic Dalvance, which finally secured US approval earlier this year.

Acquisitive Actavis - which has just absorbed Forest Laboratories in a $25bn deal - is paying $23 per share in cash for Durata and says the antibiotics firm is a "strong strategic fit" that will boost its emerging infectious diseases franchise, which includes former Forest drug Teflaro (ceftaroline).

The offer represents a 66% premium to Durata's closing share price at the end of last week, and also includes a $5 per share bonus for Durata shareholders if Dalvance (dalbavancin) performs as expected.

Dalvance was approved by the FDA as "the first and only intravenous antibiotic for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) with once-a-week dosing for two weeks," according to Actavis, which notes it is also under regulatory review in Europe and could be approved there in 2015.

The US approval marked the end of a tortuous journey through the regulatory process, which began when dalbavancin was first submitted for approval in 2007 and hit the buffers when the US regulator asked for more data to fit in with evolving requirements for antibiotic approval.

The drug launched in the US in July - too late to make an impact on the firm's second-quarter figures - and is competing against Pfizer's Zyvox (linezolid), Cubist Pharmaceuticals Cubicin (daptomycin) and Sivextro (tidezolid) and The Medicine Company's Orbactiv (oritavancin) in the ABSSSI category.

Durata says its drug has a number of advantages versus the competition, including broad activity against Gram-positive bacteria, limited drug-drug interaction issues and simpler administration.

The company is also developing a one-dose regimen of Dalvance for ABSSSI, with a regulatory filing expected next year, and is looking at the drug in additional indications, such as hospitalised community-acquired pneumonia and paediatric osteomyelitis.

Actavis chief executive Brent Saunders noted that in addition to Teflaro, Dalvance would also slot in alongside Actavis pipeline candidate ceftazidine-avibactam, which is currently in late-stage development.

Article by
Phil Taylor

7th October 2014

From: Sales

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