Humanwell Healthcare Group and PuraCap Pharmaceutical said today they agreed to acquire Epic Pharma for $550 million.

The buyers said the deal will expand both their commercial and manufacturing capabilities, as well as their presence in the U.S. generics market.

Epic's portfolio consists of 15 marketed generic products consisting of tablets, two-piece capsules, and powder dosage form products, as well as a pipeline of 37 products that includes controlled drug substances.

Humanwell and PuraCap said the deal was designed in part to complement PuraCap's existing R&D efforts by using Epic's know-how in manufacturing and developing controlled drug substances and powder formulations.

As part of the deal, the buyers will acquire Epic’s FDA and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency–inspected Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manufacturing site, a 110,000-square-foot facility in Laurelton, NY. That will add 215 employees to the Humanwell and PuraCap U.S. operations team, the companies said.

“The addition of Epic is an important addition to the PuraCap family,” Dahai Guo, CEO of PuraCap and president of Humanwell USA, said in a statement. “We look forward to it being a platform for the development of our generic pharmaceutical business, both in the USA as well as internationally.”

The companies said the deal is expected to close in the scond quarter subject to customary conditions that include expiration of the waiting period under the Hart–Scott–Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, approval of Humanwell stockholders, and registrations from certain governmental entities in China.

Chinese-based Humanwell specializes in investing, developing, and managing healthcare companies. Founded in 1993, the publicly traded company has a market capitalization of $3.5 billion.

PuraCap oversees two companies: PuraCap Pharmaceutical, focused on prescription brand-name drugs, and PuraCap International, which markets prescription generics and over-the-counter (OTC) and private-label brands.

PuraCap International, a joint venture with Dangdai International Group, was created just last week when PuraCap Pharmaceutical acquired two other companies, Blu Pharmaceutical and Blu Caribe, in a deal announced March 24.

That deal expanded PuraCap's manufacturing expertise beyond soft gelatin capsules to include oral tablet and capsule dosage forms for both the U.S. and global markets. Under the transaction, PuraCap acquired a 145,000 square-foot current GMP (CGMP) manufacturing facility in Dorado, Puerto Rico, and a 185,000 square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Franklin, KY. 

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