Mylan, which bought Novartis CF drugs, circles back for the manufacturing assets

Mylan is taking over a Novartis plant in California that makes the TOBI brand cystic fibrosis drugs it acquired from the Swiss drugmaker last year. (Mylan)

Mylan has spent more than $460 million buying Novartis cystic fibrosis products. Now, it wants the plant that makes them. 

Mylan took an option on a Novartis plant in San Carlos, California, when it shelled out $463 million last year for Novartis’ TOBI Podhaler and TOBI liquid. It exercised the option in May for the plant “required to manufacture” the products, a Novartis spokesman said in an email today. 

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Mylan is expected to hire the 100 employees that work there. That number is down from the 140 employees the plant had when Novartis bought the manufacturing plant from Nektar Therapeutics for $115 million in 2008. 

The plant can be expected to become part of the new company that is being formed by merging Mylan with Pfizer’s generics operation Upjohn, a deal announced Monday. Mylan did not respond to a request for comment.

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The combo of Pfizer’s off-patent drugs franchise with Mylan is projected to create a generics behemoth with 2020 revenues forecast at $19 billion to $20 billion. The expectation is that the merger will make it easier to weather the ongoing pricing pressure in the U.S. generics market.

NewCo, as it is currently called, will have more than 50 manufacturing sites including 25 solid dose, seven injectable, eight complex dosage forms and 11 API sites. In total, they can produce more than 80 billion doses annually. 

Mylan and Pfizer are also sorting out how to handle EpiPen manufacturing, which a unit of Pfizer currently does for Mylan.