Lupin snags Antara rights for $38.6M

Back in January, Oscient Pharmaceuticals filed a patent infringement lawsuit against India's Lupin Pharmaceuticals (LUPN) over the cholesterol drug Antara (fenofibrate). Just days ago, Lupin announced it had purchased the rights to Antara for $38.6 million. With Oscient tied up in bankruptcy proceedings, it seems the drugmaker had no choice but to offload the drug. Antara is licensed from Ethypharm, which will retain rights to some royalties.

Ahead of the deal, Lupin sold its ANDA for an Antara copycat to Indian generics giant Dr Reddy's Laboratories (RDY). The drugmaker says it will more than double its sales team over the next year to push Antara as well as antibiotic tablets Suprax and nasal spray Allernaze.

Antara garnered $85 million for Oscient in the year ended June 2009, a 21 percent increase from the previous year, LiveMint reports. "We wanted to come up with the optimal portfolio in primary care and this is part of that target," said Vinita Gupta, Lupin's CEO. "From a valuation perspective this was a phenomenal deal. This is the second largest product in its category and has 4.5 percent market share in the U.S. and we see strong growth potential for it."

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