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Elan buys $40m stake in Dubai pharma group

Dubai, May 20, 2013

Irish drug firm Elan has agreed to pay $40 million for a 48 per cent stake in Dubai-based NewBridge Pharmaceuticals, a specialty therapeutics company, in line with its Africa and the Middle East expansion plans, said report.

NewBridge is a first-in-class, venture-backed specialty therapeutics company focused on pharmaceuticals, biologics.

It specializes in in-licensing, acquiring, registering and commercializing FDA, EMA/European and Japanese PMDA approved therapeutics to address the unmet medical needs of diseases with high regional prevalence in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and Caspian (AfMET) regions.

Elan also reached an agreement with Austrian rare drug specialist AOP Orphan to buy the company for 263.5 million euros ($337 million) which will hand them a number of mainly haematology and oncology-focused drugs and late stage experimental treatments.

The Irish company said it plans to spin-off its one experimental drug and buy back more shares.

Elan, which had recently rejected a $5.7 billion bid from US investment firm Royalty Pharma, is trying to convince shareholders to do the same by returning cash and going on a spending spree that began with a $1 billion royalties deal just a week ago.

"This isn't the end of the journey, it's the middle phase... We will have north of $1 billion remaining on our balance sheet for additional investments in the next 6-12 months," chief executive Kelly Martin told Reuters, describing the Royalty bid as "a bit of nuisance".

"We will announce further things in the second half of the year. We will look at anything at all. Royalties are almost 100 per cent profit with our tax structures, so we will look at assets or royalties or both."

"We believe there are significant opportunities around the world, with certain other geographic areas that we think are as interesting as AOP and Newbridge, but there are only so many things we can do at once," he added.-Reuters




Tags: Ireland | Dubai | Drugs |

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