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Several suppliers expand holdings via acquisition.

NEW YORK -- Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. has agreed to buy the Ortho Dermatologics division of Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $345 million. Canada-based Valeant also recently agreed to purchase skin care product manufacturer Dermik, a unit of Sanofi, for $425 million.

The acquisition of Ortho gives Valeant ownership of such brands as Retin-A Micro acne treatment and Renova, a wrinkle-reducer. The deal for Dermik gives Valeant leading brands such as BenzaClin for the treatment of acne, Carac for the treatment of keratoses, and Sculptra, a facial injectable for the correction of facial wrinkles and folds.

In another sign of industry consolidation, Allergan Inc. plans to acquire privately held dermatology start-up Vicept Therapeutics Inc. The two have entered into a definitive agreement under which Allergan will acquire all outstanding shares and assets of Vicept and pay $75 million in cash up-front plus up to $200 million, based upon the achievement of certain future development, sales and regulatory milestones.

Vicept was founded in 2009 with the aim of developing the first effective topically applied treatment for the erythema (skin redness) associated with rosacea. The company's lead investigational product, V-101, is indicated for that condition and, to date, has achieved positive results in two randomized, placebo-controlled Phase II studies.

Pfizer Inc. and Icagen Inc. have also entered into a definitive merger agreement. Pfizer, which currently owns about 11% of Icagen's fully diluted shares, will acquire the remaining 8.3 million shares at a price of $6.00 per share. The aggregate transaction value, including the value of the shares currently owned by Pfizer, is around $56 million.

In 2007 the two entered into a worldwide collaboration for the discovery, development and commercialization of compounds that modify three specific sodium ion channels as new potential treatments for pain and related disorders. Pfizer notes that these sodium ion channels are important in generating the electrical signals in nerve fibers that mediate the initiation, transmission and sensation of pain.

The companies want to develop effective treatments for serious pain disorders with fewer side effects.

"We're excited that Icagen, a global leader in pain research, will join Pfizer, further strengthening our innovative core," remarks Ruth McKernan, senior vice president, Neusentis, Pfizer's pain and sensory disorders and regenerative medicine unit. "Icagen's capabilities and core ion channel technology will help expand Pfizer's position in the pain relief disease area and our ability to develop potential first-in-industry drugs for the treatment of pain and related disorders."

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Title Annotation:RX/NEWS
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Aug 29, 2011
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