Teva gets okay to buy Cephalon with conditions
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA.TA) won U.S. antitrust approval to buy specialty drugmaker Cephalon (CEPH.O) after agreeing to conditions aimed at preserving competition in the market for sleep disorder medicine Provigil and two other drugs.
Teva said on Friday that it expects to close the deal, valued at nearly $7 billion, by October 14, subject to approval by the European Commission. The commission has said it would have a decision by October 13.
To win antitrust approval for the deal, Teva agreed to supply rival generic drug maker Par Pharmaceuticals (PRX.N) with Provigil, which is used to combat drowsiness, for one year, the Federal Trade Commission said.
Provigil has annual U.S. sales of about $1.1 billion, Teva and Cephalon said in a statement.
The FTC also required Teva to sell Par the rights and assets of a cancer pain drug developed by Cephalon and sold as Actiq, and a muscle relaxant, known chemically as cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride.
According to IMS Health data, annual U.S. sales for the two drugs are $298 million, the companies said.
The Cephalon/Teva deal, which was announced in May, was arranged to boost the brand-name business of Israel-based Teva, best known as the world's largest maker of generic drugs.
Cephalon's pain, sleep and cancer drugs will help Teva reduce its reliance on the big-selling Copaxone treatment for multiple sclerosis medicine, which faces increasing competition.
While primarily a generic maker, Teva has recently bought Barr Pharmaceuticals and Ratiopharm to boost its branded segment.
Cephalon's top-selling Provigil is set to lose patent protection next year, while adoption of a newer version, Nuvigil, has been disappointing.
The FTC sued Cephalon in 2008, saying it broke the law by paying generic drug makers, including Teva, to keep copycat versions of Provigil off the market. That lawsuit continues.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn, Berard Orr)
The Ritalin Kid
The Good Drug Guide
Modafinil for frazzled dons
Modafinil (Provigil) : structure
Modafinil: The Kelli White Affair
Modafinil (Provigil) and Beyond
Modafinil (Provigil) and the Military Mind
Modafinil (Provigil): FDA endorses new uses