Jordan's Hikma Pharmaceuticals has sewn up its deal with Boehringer Ingelheim's Ben Venue Laboratories group to buy assets of Bedford Laboratories, its generic injectable drug unit. Hikma will pay $225 million up front, plus $75 million in performance-based milestone payments, according to a press release. Additionally, it has a deal that may lead it to buy most of the assets of the now-closed Ben Venue sterile injectable plant in Bedford, Ohio.
Ben Venue ceased manufacturing at the plant at the end of last year and laid off 1,100 employees after a string of embarrassing quality problems that led to a consent decree with the FDA last year. Boehringer spent $350 million on upgrades but faced an estimated $700 million in operating losses if it kept the facility open. The Ohio facility is one of the largest sterile injectable plants in the world. It manufactured 100 products, including Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) ovarian cancer drug Doxil, which suffered shortages in the wake of the plant debacle, and generics sold by the Bedford Labs unit. J&J's Janssen unit has leased part of the plant and is now manufacturing Doxil there itself.
Hikma plans to reintroduce Bedford Labs products, addressing "critical supply shortages in the U.S. market" that occurred partially because of the plant's closing, the company said in a statement. Hikma, which has its own injectables business, expects to relaunch 20 of the drugs between 2015 and 2017, and more later based on feasibility and market need.
"Bedford's impressive product portfolio and deep pipeline will significantly increase the scale and scope of our rapidly growing U.S. Injectables business," said Hikma CEO Said Darwazah in the statement. Paul Fonteyne, CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim USA, added, "We believe that this is a positive development, allowing Hikma to leverage its existing infrastructure and manufacturing capabilities to re-introduce important products to the U.S. market."
Hikma has an impressive track record of filling supply gaps. Last year its sales soared when it cornered the market for the antibiotic doxycycline, which had been on the FDA's list of critical drug shortages.
- here's the press release
- read more at Reuters
Editor's note: This story was updated to clarify the relationship between Bedford and Ben Venue.