Mylan ($MYL) will pay $17.5 million to acquire global development, manufacturing and commercialization rights to Pfizer's dry powder respiratory drug delivery system. Pending regulatory clearance, the deal will close by year-end. Mylan said it will pay for rights to the Pfizer ($PFE) technology "with available liquidity."
The price tag may not seem like a lot. But Pfizer stands to earn far more from the generic and specialty pharmaceuticals manufacturer over time as Mylan develops and brings other products to market based on the Pfizer platform. Those regulatory and commercial milestones will trigger additional payments, and Pfizer will also enjoy some profit sharing, according to Mylan's Nov. 9 announcement.
Mylan Chairman and CEO Robert Coury (photo) explained that the deal "will serve as an additional contributor to Mylan's long-term growth." In other words, by expanding its presence in the global respiratory and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) market, Mylan stands to gain big. More than 50% of the $34 billion global respiratory and COPD markets are expected to lose patent protection by the end of 2016, according to statistics the company cites from IMS Health.
At the same time, Mylan already has some respiratory expertise. The company notes its Dey Pharma specialty division develops unit-dose oral inhalation products used for nebulizers to treat COPD, and also treats severe allergic reactions with its EPIPEN product.
Initially, Mylan will incorporate the Pfizer platform in generic equivalents to GlaxoSmithKline's Advair Discus and Seretide Diskus systems, which are used to treat asthma and COPD. Both deliver their treatments via a dry powder inhaler.
Longer-term, Mylan will also use Pfizer's dry-powder delivery platform to develop both brand and generic pharmaceutical products. The company says it will employ "select key members" of what was the former Pfizer respiratory inhalation development team in Sandwich, U.K., as well as some employees in Cambridge, U.K.