Abbott to purchase Solvay Pharmaceuticals

ABBOTT PARK, Ill. Drug maker Abbott will buy the pharmaceuticals business of Belgium-based Solvay for $6.6 billion, Abbott announced Monday.

The purchase will increase Abbott’s annual sales by $3 billion, mostly outside the United States, and add $500 million to its annual pharmaceutical research and development investment, the company said.

With the acquisition, Abbott will expand its portfolio of drugs at a time when many of its existing drugs face generic competition over the next decade. The HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir and ritonavir), which had sales of $111 million for the first six months of this year, loses patent protection in 2016; the cholesterol-lowering drug TriCor (fenofibrate) – which had sales of $336 million during the same period together with successor drug TriLipix – will lose protection in 2011.

“The acquisition of Solvay Pharmaceuticals further diversifies our pharmaceutical portfolio, expands our presence in key, high-growth emerging markets, enhances our investment R&D and accelerates our long-term earnings-per-share growth outlook,” Abbott chairman and CEO Miles White said in a statement.

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