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GEN News Highlights : Jan 21, 2013

Recordati Completes $100M Deal for Rare-Disease Drugs

Italian-owned Recordati said today it completed its $100 million purchase from Danish-owned Lundbeck of all rights to a portfolio of 10 drugs for rare and other diseases marketed mainly in the U.S.

Recordati paid $80 million up-front for the acquired portfolio, which the company expects will generate revenues this year of around $40 million. That’s down from the roughly $45 million generated by the products in 2011, according to Lundbeck, which has said the remaining $20 million will be paid subject to product registration transfers.

In today’s statement, Recordati said it is committed to R&D of new drugs for rare diseases as well as within the cardiovascular and urogenital therapeutic areas. Recordati finished 2011 with a net income of €116.4 million (about $155 million), on revenues of €762 million ($1 billion).

Through its Recordati Rare Diseases unit, Recordati will manage a portfolio whose main product is Panhematin® (haemin for injection) for recurrent attacks of acute intermittent porphyria. Other drugs acquired from Lundbeck include Chemet® (succimer) for lead poisoning in children with blood lead levels above 45 mcg/dL; Cosmegen® (dactinomycin for injection) for rare cancers Wilms’ tumor, childhood rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma, and metastatic, nonseminomatous testicular cancer; Desoxyn® (methamphetamine hydrochloride) for attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and exogenous obesity; and Indocin® (indomethacin injection), designed to close a clinically significant patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in premature infants.

Also, Mustargen® (mechlorethamine HCL for injection) for Hodgkin’s disease (Stages III and IV), lymphosarcoma, chronic myelocytic or chronic lymphocytic leukemia, polycythemia vera, mycosis fungoides, and bronchogenic carcinoma; NeoProfen® (ibuprofen lysine injection), also indicated for PDA; Peganone® (ethotoin) for control of tonic-clonic (grand-mal) and complex (psychomotor) seizures; and Tranxene® (clorazepate) for management of anxiety disorders or short-term relief from anxiety. Lundbeck included another portfolio product in the original announcement, Elspar® (asparaginase) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), though the company earlier told healthcare providers it will stop selling Elspar as of Dec. 31, 2012.

Lundbeck first announced the acquisition on Dec. 14: "This divestiture allows us to sharpen our focus on advancing therapeutic approaches for people with psychiatric and neurological disorders—disease categories where we've recently launched three new products in the U.S., and are poised to launch several more within the next year," Ulf Wiinberg, Lundbeck’s president & CEO, said at the time in a statement.

The two companies have shared business ties for years before the portfolio announcement. In 1995, Recordati agreed to distribute in Italy Lundbeck’s antidepressant citalopram (Elopram®/Seropram®), followed in 2002 by a distribution pact for citalopram’s successor, escitalopram (Gaudium®).

Founded in 1926, Recordati is headquartered in Milan and has operations across Europe and Turkey and a field force of around 1,700 representatives. Recordati has said it will hire several of the Lundbeck employees supporting the products involved in the deal.