Opko Health Snaps Up EirGen for $135 Million
May 6, 2015
By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Sr. Editor
Miami-based Opko Health, Inc. has snapped up Irish specialty pharmaceutical company EirGen Pharma for $135 million, the company said Wednesday, as it attempts to broaden its business to more than 40 countries around the globe and blend the company with its Israeli subsidiary FineTech.
“EirGen Pharma is one of the leading developers and suppliers of high potency niche pharmaceutical products in the world,” said Phillip Frost, OPKO’s chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “As FineTech, OPKO’s Israeli active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing subsidiary, is also focused on high potency drugs, an immediate business synergy is expected.”
Waterford, Ireland-based EirGen was founded by two former executives of IVAX Pharmaceuticals, Tom Brennan and Patsy Carney, and has a highly-coveted manufacturing facility that is already approved by a spate of international regulators including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the EMEA (European Health Authorities) and the PMDA (Japanese Health Authorities).
EirGen also produces high-potency drugs, like those used for cancer chemotherapy, which are typically unsuitable for manufacture in normal multi-product facilities due to cross contamination risks.
“EirGen also offers the significant benefit of potentially being able to manufacture OPKO’s current and future products in our own facilities, which we expect will result in even higher gross margins,” said Frost. “The superb management, research and development, manufacturing and product distribution teams, along with state of the art facilities, together, will create an important, tax efficient base of operations for OPKO.”
The Irish company has been doing a brisk business creating new products as well: To date, EirGen and its commercial partners have filed 10 product applications with the FDA, and an additional five each in Europe and Japan.
“EirGen has a strong research and development portfolio of over 20 niche, high barrier to entry drugs and, with access to additional capital that Opko will provide, together with the benefits of Irish government programs to encourage research and development in Ireland, EirGen will rapidly expand its drug portfolio,” said Opko in a statement.
Will Hungry Pfizer Make a Play for Struggling GlaxoSmithKline?
Almost a year after its $119 billion offer for AstraZeneca PLC fell apart in the face of massive opposition from regulators and internal dissent, global drugmaker Pfizer Inc. is once again being floated as a potential buyer of another marquee-name British pharmaceutical company: GlaxoSmithKline . We at BioSpace want to know your thoughts: With cash to burn, will Pfizer go hunting for Glaxo?