New specialty pharmaceuticals firm says products will form backbone of acquisition strategy.

Fledgling specialty pharmaceuticals firm Actient Pharmaceuticals acquired licenses to its first six marketed products from UCB. The deal also gives Actient an option to purchase the products. In return UCB will receive an up-front fee and royalties on future sales.

The licensed products include Edex® for treating male erectile dysfunction, Theo-24® for asthma and other respiratory conditions, Semprex®-D Capsules for treating allergy, the beta-blocker Levatol®, Robaxin® for the treatment of pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions, and Dilatrate®-SR for the prevention of angina.

UCB says the six drugs achieved gross annual sales of approximately $53 million in 2009, but they no longer fit in with its long-term strategy to focus on immunology and neurology. “Following the successful U.S. launches of our core products Cimzia® and Vimpat® we continue to focus our resources on providing solutions to patients who suffer from severe diseases in immunology and neurology,” states Greg Duncan, UCB’s president for North American operations. Cimzia is indicated for the treatment of Crohn disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Vimpat is an epilepsy therapy used to treat partial-onset seizures.

Based in Deerfield, Illinois, Actient was established last year by private equity firm GTCR Pharma and Ed Fiorentino, previously a senior executive at Abbott Labs and now Actient CEO. At the time of the new firm’s foundation GTCR reported plans to support its growth with investments of up to $200 million in equity capital. The set of products acquired from UCB will form the backbone of Actient’s commercial strategy focused on acquiring late-stage or marketed therapeutics. The company plans to expand its leadership team and personnel to support its product portfolio.

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