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GSK acquires Reliant Pharmaceuticals

GlaxoSmithKline and Reliant Pharmaceuticals have reached an agreement under which Reliant will be acquired for USD 1.7bn in cash

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and US-headquartered Reliant Pharmaceuticals have reached an agreement under which Reliant will be acquired by GSK for USD 1.7bn in cash.

Reliant, which is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular therapies, posted net sales of USD 341m in the nine months ending 30 September 2007, an increase of 62 per cent over the comparable time period a year earlier.

The major product that comes with the acquisition of Reliant is Lovaza (omega-3-acid ethyl esters), a treatment for adult patients with high levels of triglycerides. The drug, the US rights of which were in-licensed from Norway-based Pronova BioPharma, is indicated as an adjunct to diet.

Pronova will continue to supply the product's primary material. Rights to Lovaza in other markets have been licensed by the company to a number of other companies.

Lovaza, which was launched in 2005, is the only prescription omega-3 medicine approved by the FDA for the treatment of high triglyceride levels, and is the only such treatment to be clinically proven to provide a 45 per cent reduction in triglycerides in adults.

Lovaza competes in the non-statin, dyslipidaemia segment of the US cardiovascular market, where it had achieved a 10 per cent market share of total prescriptions as of 30 September 2007. Sales in this segment were USD 2.2bn in FY06 and are expected to grow in excess of 20 per cent a year.

Lovaza posted sales of USD 206m in the nine months ending 30 September 2007, which was an increase of 115 per cent over the same period in FY06.

The acquisition is subject to approval by the US Federal Trade Commission and is expected to complete by the end of 2007.

30th September 2008

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