Alkermes wraps buyout of Elan drug-delivery biz

Alkermes ($ALKS) has jumped into the European biotech scene in style. The provider of drug-delivery technologies has completed its buyout of Elan's drug-delivery business, made Ireland its new corporate home and revealed a new manufacturing deal with a top-10 pharma outfit.

Alkermes CEO Richard Pops appears to be relishing his (formerly Waltham, MA-based) company's newfound scale. The addition of Elan Drug Technologies to Alkermes' previous business gives the company more than $450 million in annual revenue from 25 products, with $80 million in profit, as Reuters reports. Some of the key products that use Alkermes' drug-delivery systems include Risperdal, a long-acting schizophrenia drug, and Bydureon, a diabetes med. The new manufacturing deal with an undisclosed Big Pharma is expected to bring Alkermes $15 million to $20 million in revenue within 5 years.

Alkermes now has the scale and footprint to entice new European backers, including investors that could gobble up shares Elan acquired as part of its compensation for its drug-delivery unit. Elan is expected to begin selling off some of its 25% stake in Alkermes after a 6-month lock-up period ends. Shane Cooke, the company's new chairman and former financial chief of Elan, has started talking up the rationale for European groups to buy up shares of his expanded operation.

"I think it would be good for us to have European investors[,] and there are a lot of investors in Europe who are interested in this business," Cooke told Reuters. "There are very few companies of the size and diversity of Alkermes within the European market at the moment so I think it's an attractive proposition for those investors who wouldn't have looked before because Alkermes was below the radar."

- here's the release
- see the Reuters report