September 28, 2009

Abbott to buy Solvay division for $6.6B

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Abbot Laboratories said it would buy Belgian drug company Solvay's prescription drug division for $6.6 billion cash.

In doing so, Abbott would take full possession of TriCor, an anti-cholesterol pill that took in $1.3 billion in sales in 2008, The New York Times reported Monday.

Currently, Abbot and Solvay share in TriCor's proceeds. In addition, Abbott will fully own Trilipix, a new cholesterol treatment the Food and Drug Administration approved in December.

Solvay has several other drugs in production, including treatments for hypertension, hormone replacement and neurological ailments, the Times said.

Abbot joins other pharmaceutical concerns that expanded their portfolios this year.

In January, Pfizer proposed a $68 billion deal for Wyeth. Merck offered to buy Schering, Plough for $41 billion in March. Roche then offered $47 billion for Genentech.

Abbott's exclusive patent rights for TriCor runs out in 2011. Its patent exclusive for cholesterol drug Niaspan and prostate cancer drug Lupron runs out in 2013, the Times said. In 2016, the company surrenders its exclusive rights to Kalestra, an HIV treatment.

Abbott's net sales reached $29.5 billion in 2008 with profits at $5.2 billion, the Times said.