GSK makes $1.65 billion purchase of Reliant

PHILADELPHIA and LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. GlaxoSmithKline has bought Reliant Pharmaceuticals for $1.65 billion in cash, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Reliant is a specialty company that focuses on cardiovascular therapies. GlaxoSmithKline will now be able to add Lovaza, which is the only prescription omega-3 medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of very high triglycerides. The drug brought in net sales of $206 million in the nine months ending September 30, 2007.

In addition to Lovaza, Reliant also markets three other in-licensed cardiovascular products - high blood pressure treatments DynaCirc CR and InnoPran XL and abnormal heart rhythm and arrhythmia treatment Rythmol SR.

Reliant recorded net sales of $341 million during the first three quarters of the year, an increase of 62 percent over the comparable time period a year earlier.

Chris Viehbacher, president of U.S. Pharmaceuticals for GlaxoSmithKline, said Lovaza gives the company a new “driver of sales growth” in the United States. He said the drug will complement Coreg CR, GlaxoSmithKline’s heart failure and hypertension treatment, and add to the company’s “growing profile in the cardiovascular disease area.”

As a result of the acquisition, biotechnology company Alkermes is to receive $174 million for its stake in Reliant, which it will use to repurchase shares of common stock. The acquisition is still subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission and is expected to conclude before the end of the year.

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