Pfizer to Acquire King Pharmaceuticals

Published by: Frank Galvano on 12th Oct 2010 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano

Pfizer to Acquire King Pharmaceuticals

Pfizer Inc. announced on Tuesday plans to purchase King Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $3.6 billion in a move to expand their portfolio of pain treatments.

Pfizer will reportedly pay $14.25 per share for the company, a premium of 40 percent over King's stock price at the close of Monday trading. The purchase will add to Pfizer's product list the muscle relaxer Skelaxin, a drug that generated more than $400 million in revenue in 2009, as well as the Flector pain-relief patch. Pfizer has been seeking to expand its catalog of pain products for several months beyond the arthritis drug Celebrex and nerve pain treatment Lyrica. King bbrought in just under $1.8 billion in revenue in 2009 and its chemists are currently focusing on the development of pain medications that are abuse-resistant.

"We are highly impressed by King's innovative products and technology in the pain relief disease area, as well as by its success in advancing promising compounds in its pipeline," Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler said in a statement. "The combination of our respective portfolios in this area of unmet medical need is highly complementary and will allow us to offer a fuller spectrum of treatments for patients across the globe who are in need of pain relief and management."

Economists believe the move was designed to help Pfizer offset expected losses with generic copies of its Lipitor cholesterol pill due to hit the market in 2011. King, based in Bristol, Tennessee, gained US approval in August 2009 to sell a tamper resistant form of long-acting morphine called Embeda developed by Alpharma, Inc., a company acquired by King.

The company is also working on a tamper resistant, long-acting form of oxycodone, called Remoxy, in a partnership with San Mateo, CA.-based Pain Therapeutics Inc. The drug is expected to directly compete with a new form of OxyContin that received FDA approval this month and will be sold by Stamford , CT.-based Purdue Pharma LP.

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