PHARMACY

Pfizer completes acquisition of Wyeth after approval from FTC, Canadian Competition Bureau

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK One day after getting the go-ahead from the Federal Trade Commission and the Canadian Competition Bureau, Pfizer has completed its acquisition of Wyeth, Pfizer announced Thursday.

“We are pleased to have received all the requisite regulatory approvals for our combination with Wyeth,” Pfizer CEO and chairman Jeffrey Kindler said in a statement. “We now look forward to combining the two companies so that we can achieve meaningful results for patients, customers and the communities we serve, as well as for our shareholders.”

The acquisition brings to an end a process that began in January, when Pfizer offered Wyeth shareholders $68 billion for the company amid a wave of big-ticket acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry that included Merck & Co.’s acquisition of Schering-Plough Corp. and Roche’s purchase of the remaining stock in Genentech that it didn’t already own.

Wyeth stock will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the business day Thursday, and the two companies will begin joint operations Friday.

China’s Ministry of Commerce and Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission granted approval for the acquisition last month, and Pfizer also moved Wyeth executives Frances Fergusson and John Mascotte to its own board of directors. The European Commission approved it in July, and Wyeth shareholders voted to allow it the same month.

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Abbott reports Q3 results

BY Alaric DeArment

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Drug maker Abbott reported strong sales in its third-quarter 2009 earnings report Wednesday.

The company reported an increase of 8.4% in global sales, which remained at 3.5% when factoring in the rise in the value of the dollar. Excluding the dollar’s rise, pharmaceutical sales were 3.9%, but dipped into the red, to -1.6%, when including foreign exchange rates. Nutritional and medical products had much stronger sales – 11.1% and 9.8%, respectively – when the dollar’s value was included.

“Abbott is performing well, generating higher-than-expected earnings growth in the fourth quarter,” Abbott chairman and CEO Miles White said in a statement. “During the quarter, we announced several acquisitions that support our long-term growth strategy. These acquisitions add to our diverse mix of global businesses, with new technologies, established products and emerging market infrastructure that will help us deliver sustainable industry-leading growth.”

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Mylan, Pfizer settle drug dispute

BY Alaric DeArment

PITTSBURGH Generic drug manufacturer Mylan and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have settled a dispute over Mylan’s attempt to manufacture a generic version of an antifungal drug.

Mylan announced Wednesday that it had entered a license agreement with Pfizer concerning Mylan subsidiary Matrix Labs’ voriconazole tablets in the 50-mg and 200-mg strengths, a generic version of Pfizer’s Vfend. Matrix had filed a regulatory approval application with the Food and Drug Administration; as the first company to file the application, Mylan will have the right to market its version in direct competition with Pfizer’s product for six months once the patent expires. Under the agreement, Mylan will have the right to market voriconazole tablets in the U.S. in first quarter 2011.

Vfend, used to treat yeast and other fungal infections, had sales of $164 million during the 12-month period ending June 30, according to IMS Health data.

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