Forest Laboratories and moksha8 Form Broad Strategic Alliance for Latin America
NEW YORK & SAO PAULO--Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: FRX), an international pharmaceutical company, and moksha8, a leader in the commercialization of CNS medicines in Latin America, today announced that they have entered into a broad strategic alliance that will provide Forest with a commercial footprint in Latin America and give moksha8 access to Viibryd® and potentially other Forest products for the Latin American market.
The alliance includes an exclusive license from Forest to moksha8 to commercialize Viibryd®, and potentially other Forest products, in Latin America. In addition, Forest will provide up to $125 million in financing to moksha8 in several tranches over a two-year period, conditioned upon moksha8 achieving certain business goals. At the conclusion of this two-year period, Forest will have the option to acquire moksha8 in a merger transaction. The moksha8 shareholders will also have a put option at such time, provided that moksha8 has achieved certain business objectives. In connection with the alliance, moksha8 has expanded its license arrangement with Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: WPI), to extend moksha8's rights to commercialize a portfolio of Watson CNS branded generic products in Brazil and Mexico and has bought out Watson's minority equity position in moksha8. Other financial terms were not disclosed.
David Solomon, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Strategic Planning of Forest Laboratories Inc., said, "We are pleased to enter into this transaction with moksha8, which provides Forest access in a risk controlled manner to a high quality commercial operation in Latin America, one of the largest and fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in the world. Moksha8 is uniquely positioned to commercialize novel products such as Viibryd® in Latin America, and Forest will augment the moksha8 pipeline through our broad global partner network and business development reach. This alliance will in time contribute important incremental profits and growth to Forest and is consistent with Forest's strategy to improve returns on our product investments through fiscally responsible international expansion. We are also pleased with the agreement between moksha8 and Watson, as Watson's high quality branded generic products are complementary to Viibryd® and the other novel brands Forest expects to provide to moksha8."
Simba Gill, Chief Executive of moksha8, said, "Forest has built one of the strongest proprietary drug pipelines in the industry and we are excited to partner with Forest to commercialize these products in the fast growth markets of Latin America. We are also very pleased to build on our successful partnership with Watson, which has one of the strongest branded generics portfolios in the industry and with whom we have rapidly become a market leader in the area of branded generic CNS medicines in Brazil."
Fred Wilkinson, President Global Brands and Biosimilars of Watson, said, "We are pleased to be able to expand on our successful partnership with moksha8 in commercializing branded generic CNS products in Brazil and Mexico. We are also pleased with the alliance between moksha8 and Forest which will provide moksha8 with novel brands that are complementary to our branded generic CNS products."
Today, the Latin America pharmaceutical market is USD $67 billion with a CAGR of over 14% over the last 5 years. Brazil and Mexico account for two thirds of the Latin America market value. The CNS market in Latin America is estimated to be approximately USD $6 billion.
Viibryd® is a novel antidepressant for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). The efficacy of Viibryd® was established in two 8-week, multi-center, randomized, double -blind, placebo-controlled studies in adult (18-80 years of age) outpatients who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) criteria for MDD. The mechanism of action of Viibryd is not fully understood but is thought to be related to enhancement of serotonergic activity in the central nervous system through selective inhibition of serotonin reuptake. Viibryd® is also a partial agonist of serotonergic 5-HT1a receptors; however, the net result of this action on serotonergic transmission and its role in Viibryd® antidepressant effect are unknown. Viibryd® is not yet approved in Brazil or Mexico and regulatory submission of Viibryd® in these countries is expected in Forest's next fiscal year.
Forest will manufacture and supply Viibryd® to moksha8, under its license from Merck-Serono, and moksha8 will have exclusive rights to market, sell and distribute Viibryd® in Latin America.
About Forest Laboratories
Forest Laboratories' (NYSE: FRX) longstanding global partnerships and track record developing and marketing pharmaceutical products in the United States have yielded its well-established central nervous system and cardiovascular franchises and innovations in anti-infective, respiratory, gastrointestinal and pain management medicine. Forest's pipeline, the most robust in its history, includes product candidates in all stages of development across a wide range of therapeutic areas. The Company is headquartered in New York, NY. To learn more, visit www.FRX.com.
moksha8 is a significant Latin American pharmaceutical company, with a core focus on commercializing the highest quality medicines with best in class operations and strong FCPA compliance. The company launched its commercial operations in 2008 and currently deploys a field force of 120 representatives in Brazil and Mexico promoting primarily CNS products. moksha8 has a broad alliance with Forest Laboratories throughout Latin America and a partnership with Watson to commercialize certain Watson branded generic products in Brazil and Mexico. The company was founded by Simba Gill and TPG Biotechnology. Major investors include TPG Biotechnology and Montreux Equity Partners. For additional information on moksha8, please visit the company's web site at www.moksha8.com.
Deutsche Bank is acting as financial advisor to moksha8.
Statements contained in this press release that refer to non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Forest's, Watson's and moksha8's current perspective of existing information as of the date of this release. It is important to note that Forest, Watson and moksha8's goals and expectations are not predictions of actual performance. Actual results may differ materially from Forest, Watson and moksha8's current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Forest's, Watson's and moksha8's business. These factors include, among others, the impact of competitive products and pricing; the timing and success of product launches; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; the availability and pricing of third party sourced products and materials; successful compliance with FDA and other governmental regulations applicable to Watson and moksha8, their subsidiaries, and their third party manufacturers' facilities, products and/or businesses; changes in the laws and regulations, including Medicare and Medicaid and similar laws in non-U.S. jurisdictions, including Brazil and Mexico, affecting, among other things, pricing and reimbursement of pharmaceutical products; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Watson's periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Forest and Watson's annual reports on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2011 and December 31, 2011 and Forest and Watson's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2012. Except as expressly required by law, Forest, Watson and moksha8 disclaim any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.