Forest Labs buys specialty drug maker Aptalis

Privately held Aptalis specializes in gastrointestinal, cystic fibrosis drugs

NEW YORK — Forest Labs will buy privately owned drug maker Aptalis for $2.9 billion, Forest said Thursday.

Aptalis specializes in making drugs for gastrointestinal disorders and cystic fibrosis, with sales of $688 million in fiscal year 2013. More than 60% of its sales come from the ulcer treatment Carafate (sucralfate), the inflammatory bowel disease treatment Canasa (melamine) and the cystic fibrosis drug Zenpep (pancrelipase).

"Aptalis has an excellent strategy and financial fit for Forest because of its strong product offerings in two therapeutic franchises that are complementary to Forest — [gastrointestinal] in the United States and Canada and cystic fibrosis in Europe," Forest president and CEO Brent Saunders said. "The acquisition of Aptalis helps to diversify Forest while advancing our strategy to create blockbuster therapeutic areas."


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