Addition of Lovaza will expand GSK’s cardiovascular portfolio in U.S.

GlaxoSmithKline and Reliant Pharmaceuticals reached an agreement under which Reliant will be acquired by GSK for $1.65 billion in cash. Reliant, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company focused on cardiovascular therapies, recorded net sales of $341 million in the nine months ending September 30, 2007, an increase of 62% over the comparable time period a year earlier.

Through its strategic in-licensing and development strategy, Reliant has developed a portfolio of specialty medicines combating heart disease including U.S. rights to Lovaza™ (omega-3-acid ethyl esters), a treatment for adult patients with very high levels of triglycerides, reports the company.

Reliant licensed the rights to Lovaza in the U.S. and Puerto Rico from Pronova BioPharma, a Norwegian company that will continue to supply the product’s primary material. Rights to Lovaza in other markets have been licensed by Pronova to several other companies.

“The addition of Lovaza to the GSK portfolio adds a new driver of sales growth in the U.S. business,” commented Chris Viehbacher the president of U.S. pharmaceuticals at GSK. “It represents a strong strategic fit, complementing Coreg CR®, a leading treatment for heart failure and hypertension, and adds to our growing profile in the cardiovascular disease area.”

In addition to Lovaza, Reliant Pharmaceuticals currently markets three other in-licensed cardiovascular products:  high blood pressure treatments DynaCirc CR® and InnoPran XL® as well as Rythmol SR® for arrhythmia.

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