Nycomed snaps up Asian rights to Almirall med

Nycomed has hooked up with Spain's Almirall on a marketing deal. The Swiss drugmaker said it has licensed exclusive rights to Kestine, an antihistamine treatment for hay fever and hives, in China and other emerging markets, including Malaysia and the Philippines. Almirall developed Kestine, which it markets in 30 countries.

The arrangement with Almirall comes as Nycomed awaits its $14 billion buyout by Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutial Industries. Takeda agreed to acquire Nycomed from its private-equity owners in May, saying it wanted access to Nycomed's products and infrastructure in emerging markets. The company recently opened offices in China, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines in a bid to add to its already high proportion of sales from developing nations. Second-quarter emerging-markets sales grew in the double digits year-over-year.

"Almirall's Kestine is a high quality antihistamine which brings existing sales and potential for growth in China and further expansion in other key regional markets," Nycomed EVP Guido Oelkers said in a statement. "Emerging markets continue to be our focus area for future growth."

- see the statement from Nycomed