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Pfizer, Mylan move ahead with generics merger and spin-out

The merger had faced a set-back as a result of COVID-19 disruption

Pfizer and Mylan have finally received clearance from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to advance the merger of Pfizer’s Upjohn generics unit and Mylan.

Pfizer is planning to spin-out its generic drugs business into a joint venture with Mylan, in a deal that was due to be completed in the middle of the year.

Now that the FTC has formally cleared the merger, the new firm, Viatris, will become a generics giant, with Pfizer owning 57% and Mylan owning 43%.

“Today’s approval represents the final significant milestone towards the creation of Viatris and the realisation of Mylan and Upjohn’s shared vision for the future of healthcare,” said Robert Coury, future Viatris executive chairman and current Mylan executive chairman.

“We are focused on taking the final steps to close our transaction and look forward to unlocking the true value of our combined company for shareholders, employees, partners, patients and customers around the world. I would like to thank our current and future colleagues, as well as Pfizer’s leadership team, who have worked tirelessly to help pave the way for Viatris’ first day – 16 November,” he added.

However, as part of the FTC clearance, the companies will be required to divest seven products before moving forward with the merger.

This includes Upjohn’s Caduet which is used to treat high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and will be divested to authorised generics firm Prasco.

The companies will also divest rights to phenytoin chewable tablets, prazosin HCl capsules, spironolactone HCTZ tablets, gatifloxacin ophthalmic solution and medroxyprogesterone acetate injectable solution to Prasco.

The generics drug divested to Prasco will continue to be manufactured by Upjohn and Mylan’s current suppliers, to ensure there is no interruption to supply, the FTC said in a statement.

The deal, which was originally announced in July 2019, is part of a restructuring drive at Pfizer that is aiming for a stronger focus on its innovative medicines division, and that will als provide the company with extra capital to spend on acquisitions and licensing.

Pfizer has already sold its veterinary business, a baby formula unit and its consumer products division as part of a deal with GlaxoSmithKline.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

4th November 2020

From: Regulatory

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