In Second Big Dermatology Deal this Week, Almirall Buys 5 Products from Allergan

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Almirall, headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, announced it is buying five dermatology products from Allergan. Those include Aczone (dapsone), Tazorac (tazarotene), Azelex (azelaic acid), Cordran Tape (fludroxycortide) and Seysara (sarecycline).

Seysara is a new product, a first-in-class tetracycline-derived antibiotic with anti-inflammatory properties to treat moderate to severe acne vulgaris in patients nine years of age and older. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is slotted to approve the drug in the fourth quarter of this year. The drug, if approved, is projected to have $200 million annual sales at its peak.

“This is a transformational deal for Almirall,” said Peter Guenter, Almirall’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “It will reinforce and consolidate our position in the world’s largest dermatology market and is a well-balanced portfolio of mature and growth brands with a major launch opportunity of an innovative New Chemical Entity (NCE). It is perfectly complementary to our existing platform and will be immediately accretive to our earnings. It offers us medium to long term top and bottom line growth opportunities. Moreover, it will allow for an expanded platform to launch KX2-391, which has the potential to become a new standard of care in actinic keratosis.”

In the first half of this year, the portfolio had net sales of $70 million. The acquisition was for $550 million upfront cash and up to $100 million based on performance. The company stated, “The acquired portfolio entails an excellent fit with Almirall U.S.’s selling capabilities and its current team, which has deep knowledge of the U.S. oral acne market and the acquired products. The four products already marketed generated total sales in U.S. of $70 million in the first six months of 2018. In addition, Seysara (sarecycline) offers strong medium to long term growth potential.”

Almirall also indicates that the acquisition will make dermatology the company’s primary growth driver, increasing its net sales to nearly 45 percent of the group total from 34 percent.

This deal marks the second big prescription dermatology deal this week. Earlier, Dutch company LEO Pharma announced it was acquiring Bayer’s global prescription dermatology portfolio, including Skinoren for acne, Travogen and Travocort for fungal skin infections, Finacea for rosacea, and a number of topical steroids including Advantan, Nerisona and Desonate. It didn’t include Bayer’s over-the-counter products, including Canesten, an antifungal.

PharmaPhorum notes that, “Bayer had attempted to sell its prescription dermatology portfolio in 2016, but struggled to find a buyer willing to meet the $1 billion asking price. No financial details of the new arrangement have been disclosed, but it is likely to be worth considerably less than two years ago, as since then some products have lost patent protection.”

As part of the deal, LEO Pharma picks up the global product rights, except for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and will take over the sales and marketing teams in 14 countries, in addition to Bayer’s factory in Segrate, Italy.

Gitte Aabo, president and chief executive officer of LEO Pharma, stated, “We are very excited about this agreement. With the strong prescription dermatology brands and the new colleagues from Bayer, LEO Pharma advances significantly towards our goal of helping 125 million patients by 2025. We will broaden our treatment range and considerably enhance our size in key markets around the world—underlining our ambition to be a preferred partner in medical dermatology.”

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