Valeant, Actavis team up on two more authorized generics

Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX) and Actavis ($ACT) are getting downright buddy-buddy. Less than a week after partnering up on three skin products, the two companies have wrapped up a patent fight over two others. The settlement sets launch dates for both copycat versions, and gives Valeant a share in the proceeds.

The new patent deal involves two drugs Valeant acquired along with Medicis, the U.S. dermatology specialist it snapped up last year for $2.6 billion: Ziana, a combination antibiotic and retinoid ointment used to treat acne; and Zyclara, a treatment for actinic keratosis on the face or scalp. Actavis can launch its version of Ziana in July 2016 and Zyclara in January 2019, or earlier under certain circumstances, the companies said.

Last week, responding to an impending generic version from Mylan, Valeant tapped Actavis to sell an authorized copy of Zovirax ointment in the U.S. Valeant will supply the genital herp and receive a share of the net sales. Actavis also signed on to co-promote a cream version of Zovirax, used for cold sores.

Valeant bought the rights to its Zovirax products from GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) for $300 million back in 2011, and, according to Zack's Investment Research, the ointment accounted for 7% of its total 2012 revenue. After Mylan nabbed FDA approval for its version, Valeant cut its earnings guidance for the year, expecting a 30-cent to 40-cent-per-share cut to its bottom line from Mylan's copycat rival.

In return, Actavis engaged Valeant to co-market Cordran Tape, a steroid tape used to treat allergic skin reactions, eczema and psoriasis. Actavis will market Zovirax cream to obstetricians and gynecologists, using its specialty brands salesforce, and Valeant's dermatology salespeople will take Cordran Tape on the road. Each gets a co-promotion fee for its troubles.

- read the release from Valeant and Actavis
- get the previous release