With Rytary approval in the bag, Impax Labs scouts buyouts in CNS, generics

Impax CEO Fred Wilkinson

Sounds like Impax Laboratories' ($IPXL) October pickup of Lineage Therapeutics and Tower Holdings was just the beginning of an M&A streak. The company is "aggressively hunting" further buyouts and is in ongoing talks with multiple targets, its CEO says.

The California company has already screened between 20 and 25 potential pickups--including companies and general assets--and plans to strike after the Lineage/Tower deal closes, The Street reports.

"We're speaking to a lot of people right now," helmsman Fred Wilkinson said following his company's presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. "Once this closes, it's on to the next one."

Further acquisitions could help Impax get back on track after a rough trip down the regulatory pathway. Earlier this month, the company finally won an FDA green light for Parkinson's disease treatment Rytary, closing the book on a series of delays, regulatory warnings and cutbacks that cut into the company's profits.

Both branded and generic assets are in the running, according to Wilkinson. On the branded side, Impax is primarily interested in CNS drugs, which will fit right in with Rytary and migraine treatment Zomig. In terms of generics, it's looking for buys that will complement its existing portfolio. And the company--which had $200.4 million in cash on its balance sheet as of its latest quarterly filing, The Street reports--says a core transaction could run between $700 million to $1 billion.

But if Impax is waiting for its latest deal to close before moving forward, it might be a little while. In December, the FTC announced it had extended its antitrust investigation into the transaction, with the review centering on meds from Tower and Impax that both treat ADD.

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