PHARMACY

Roche secures acquisition deal for Memory Pharmaceuticals

BY Alaric DeArment

MONTVALE, N.J. Swiss drug maker Roche has agreed to acquire a biotech based in New Jersey, the two companies announced Tuesday.

Roche will acquire all outstanding shares of Montvale, N.J.-based Memory Pharmaceuticals in an all-cash deal worth about $50 million.

Memory develops drug candidates for treating central nervous system disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. It has already developed several drug candidates in partnership with Roche.

“The innovative work carried out by the scientists at Memory Pharmaceuticals will be fully integrated into Roche’s R&D portfolio with the aim of providing new hope for patients and caregivers affected by devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s,” Division Roche Pharmaceuticals chief executive William Burns said in a statement.

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King announces acquisition of Alpharma

BY Alaric DeArment

BRISTOL, Tenn. King Pharmaceuticals will acquire Alpharma in a deal worth $1.6 billion, King said Monday.

Alpharma had rejected a $33-per-share bid King made earlier, but accepted the most recent $37-per-share bid.

Alpharma, based in Bridgewater, N.J., has lately sought regulatory approval for painkillers designed to thwart abuse, such as Remoxy, a liquid capsule-based formulation of oxycodone.

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Viagra under investigation for effect on athletes

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating whether the drug Viagra gives athletes a competitive advantage on the playing field.

The drug, known generically as sildenafil citrate and made by Pfizer, works by opening the blood vessels. According to published reports, some experts have said this could give athletes more endurance by increasing the bloodstreams ability to deliver oxygen.

If studies indicate that Viagra does give athletes an advantage, WADA will consider listing it as a performance-enhancing drug.

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