Piramal Enterprises has kicked off the year with an acquisition by formalising a deal to buy UK-based Mallinckrodt LLC’s portfolio of intrathecal (administered via the spinal column) spasticity and pain-management drugs in an all-cash deal worth $171 million (₹1,162 crore).

The portfolio acquired includes Gablofen (baclofen), a severe spasticity management product, currently marketed in the US, and two pain-management products that are under development.

There will be additional milestone-related payments of $32 million, depending on the financial performance of the acquired assets over the next three years.

“This will be our seventh pharma acquisition in the last two years, taking our investment for inorganic growth to ₹3,000 crore across our pharma businesses,” said Ajay Piramal, Group Chairman.

After the Abbott transaction, the company had been building its healthcare infrastructure to accelerate growth, Piramal told BusinessLine, referring to the stepped up activity in the last 24 months across its three healthcare arms (critical care, custom manufacturing and over-the-counter products.)

Explaining the price paid for the acquired portfolio, which had clocked $44.6 million revenues in the 12 months, ending September 30, 2016, Piramal said the products were niche and commanded high margins. Besides, they are difficult to make, administer and had limited competition, he said.

To a query on US President Trump’s broadside against drug companies, he said, the “protectionist” measures would not affect Piramal as no manufacturing was being shifted out of the US.

Mark Trudeau, President and CEO of Mallinckrodt, said in a statement that the company was transforming its portfolio to become a top-performing specialty pharmaceutical company, systematically divesting non-core businesses to build growth platforms in autoimmune and rare diseases and hospital therapies.

Gablofen is approved for launch in eight European markets. It is the only drug of its type available in vials and pre-filled syringes, preferred by users over the competing products available in ampoules, a company note said.

But a European launch would take at least a year said Piramal, adding that the expensive product did not have a market in India.

source The Hindu Business Line

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