Actavis' drug delivery-focused spinoff on the prowl for acquisitions

The divestiture of Actavis' drug delivery unit to private equity firm TPG is now complete. The Irish pharma company divested Aptalis to focus on its recently completed merger with Allergan for $70 billion. John Fraher, the CEO of the new drug delivery company, dubbed Adare, told FierceDrugDelivery he intends to grow the company by acquisition.

Adare accounted for about 15% of Aptalis' $688 million in annual revenues, or just over $100 million. It is based in Bridgewater, NJ.

Both Adare and TPG have been open about their intention to purchase other companies, although Fraher said he has not identified a specific target yet.

"We are interested in drug delivery technologies to build on capabilities that we have. We are also interested in acquiring marketed products ourselves and then being able to develop those product franchises to create new dosage forms," Fraher said during the interview.

Meanwhile, TPG partner Todd Sisitsky said in a statement, "We are committed to growing Adare Pharmaceuticals through acquisitions and new product development, and we believe our experience and success in the healthcare industry make us uniquely suited to support the company. We are excited to work with John and his team to innovate and cultivate new partnerships."

Adare's customers include previous partners Sanofi ($SNY) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Fraher said. GSK previously adopted Pharmatech's (now Adare's) Diffucaps platform for drugs that have poor solubility in its Innopran XL extended-release capsules to treat hypertension and lower blood pressure. And when it was a unit of Actavis, Adare helped Sanofi develop a pediatric formulation of its allergy fighting medicine Allegra in the Japanese market. The product debuted in February.

In addition, Fraher said Adare will continue to manufacture the Actavis-owned drugs that were developed back when the company was known as Pharmatech, like Zenpep delayed-release capsules for pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy.

Other products that the company has helped bring to market include Children's Tylenol Cold Plus, Lacteol, Amrix and Sleep-eze.

Fraher wouldn't give too many specifics about Adare's pipeline of indigenous medicines, but said it is focused on the central nervous system and has some candidates in Phase I and Phase II.

Another focus of Adare of will be expansion in India and China. "We do not have a presence in India. That is a market that we will be assessing for the future. Likewise within China, we've had some early-stage discussions, but have no products in the Chinese market at this time," Fraher said.

Adare's drug delivery platforms are focused on taste masking, modified release, and improving the solubility of drugs, Fraher said, adding that the third platform "can be particularly targeted to new chemical entities because a significant portion of those are hydrophobic, and so not optimal to delivery in an oral form."

- read the release about the closure of the transaction