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Allergy specialist Circassia buys asthma firms

British-based company acquires Sweden’s Aerocrine and privately held Prosonix

Asthma inhaler  

Circassia Pharmaceuticals has bought two asthma-focused companies for $377m as it looks to expands its portfolio. 

The UK-based allergy specialist says it will purchase Sweden's Aerocrine and privately held Prosonix – two companies that both focus on asthma.

Circassia will pay £139m ($219m) for Aerocrine and up to £100m for Prosonix.

Circassia will use Aerocrine's established commercial operation to help with the launch of its new cat allergy treatment Cat-SPIRE.

Cat-SPIRE is due to report phase III clinical trial results in the first half of 2016.

Meanwhile, Prosonix provides a portfolio of products targeting asthma and other respiratory diseases that complement Circassia's existing pipeline.

Circassia's chief executive Steve Harris said the two deals would help his company become a self-sustaining business focused on allergy and asthma.

He told Reuters: “Aerocrine has products that they sell to allergy asthma specialists, the very customers we want to sell our allergy products to, so that's a really good strategic fit. 

“Prosonix has near-term products that help us create an allergy-asthma specialist pharmaceutical company.”

The asthma market is still highly competitive with a number of blockbuster products from AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline taking billions of dollars in sales each year.

Many are now however facing the threat of patent expiries or pricing pressures, with GSK's respiratory business struggling to find growth in the past two years - although the FDA's approval of its new drug Breo should help shore up sales in the future. 

Next-gen therapies based on antibody design and generics are set to take over from previous blockbusters in the coming years, with Circassia hoping to gain a share of the new market. 

Article by
Ben Adams

18th May 2015

From: Sales

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