- French drugmaker Ipsen will pay €83 million ($88.2 million) to pick up rights to five of Sanofi's consumer healthcare (CHC) products in a deal that should put its primary care division on a much stronger footing.
- For Sanofi, the asset sales help it meet divestiture requirements set by the E.U. as a condition of approval for last year's asset swap with Boehringer Ingelheim, which traded Sanofi's Merial animal-health business for the German drugmaker's consumer health unit.
- Ipsen will acquire certain rights to the painkiller Prontalgine, an antispasmodic called Buscopan, the laxative Suppositoria Glycerini, and two expectorants for cough and flu. Per the deal, marketing rights for most of the drugs are limited to select Eastern European countries.
In a statement on the deal, Ipsen said the acquisitions will improve the profitability of the company's primary care business, particularly in the French market with Prontalgine. The new pick ups will be part of Ipsen's move towards what it describes as an "OTx business model," which combines both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
The key product in the deal for Ipsen is the OTC painkiller Prontalgine, which combines acetaminophen, caffeine and codeine. Sales of the product in France have grown over the past four years and the drug currently commands a market share in the mid-30 percent range, according to Ipsen.
Ipsen has been an active dealmaker so far in 2017, kicking off the year with a $575 million deal to acquire Merrimack Pharmaceuticals' pancreatic cancer drug Onivyde (irinotecan liposome injection).
While Sanofi is selling these five CHC drugs, the big pharma has designs on being a top 3 player in the global CHC space. Sanofi's unit returned to growth in the fourth quarter and will be further boosted by the assets acquired from Boehringer Ingelheim.