Actavis seems to have a finger in every pie lately when it comes to pharma M&A, and rumor has it Omega Pharma's sales process is no exception.
As Big Pharma's big patent cliff took hold a few years ago, generics makers enjoyed the sales boost of one newly off-patent blockbuster after another. But savvy execs knew that the unprecedented party would end soon enough--and generics companies would be facing a sort of patent cliff of their own.
Chalk up a victory for the U.S. Treasury Department, whose new rules put the kibosh on Salix Pharmaceuticals' tax inversion deal for Cosmo's Irish unit. Instead, the North Carolina company is reportedly in talks to sell itself--but to Actavis, not Allergan.
Actavis has been switching patients from the original version of the Alzheimer's treatment Namenda IR, which is going off patent, to its new once-a-day version. But the New York Attorney General was not impressed with its plan to just quit making the original version, and now Actavis has agreed to produce it for a couple more months to settle a lawsuit the AG filed this month.
Anyone else feel like we need a mind map to keep track of the incestuous M&A talks going on in pharma right now?
Some analysts called it a cheap trick when Forest Laboratories said it would stop making the Alzheimer's drug Namenda this fall so it could push patients to switch to their new long-acting version as generic rivals to the original loom. New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman calls the tactic something else: illegal.
Actavis' plan to discontinue production of the original version of its Alzheimer's treatment Namenda and move patients to the extended-release version depended on patient and payer buy-in and being able to produce adequate supplies. The company has achieved the first two goals but has run into a shortage because production has been unable to keep up with demand.
Is it possible to be just too clever when it comes to marketing? That is something that Actavis CEO Brent Saunders will find out now that his decision to stop making the original version of the Alzheimer's treatment Namenda has turned into a production pileup for the company.
Pfizer may not get a great shot at buying AstraZeneca this fall--but it's preparing to give it a try. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports, the U.S.-based drug giant is looking at Actavis, the generics maker with a new home address in Ireland, among other targets.
On Tuesday, Depomed announced that it won its patent lawsuit against Actavis, which wanted to market a generic version of Depomed's shingles pain drug Gralise. Depomed's shares surged more than 13% in after-hours trading to $14.94.