[Ip-health] FT: US regulator clears AbbVie’s $63bn deal for Allergan

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue May 5 22:17:42 PDT 2020


<SNIP>

In a dissenting opinion, Rohit Chopra, one of the Democratic commissioners,
called the FTC’s decision “risky and concerning”, saying that he had wanted
to block the merger.

He added in a tweet: “Nestlé may be the world’s largest food and beverage
company, but it does not make prescription drugs.

“I am unwilling to trust this candy and cat litter conglomerate to restore
competition for patients needing medicine for serious pancreatic
conditions.”

AbbVie’s mega-deal had been called into question by several investors in
February as they feared that regulators would block the Botox maker’s
takeover. The company is relying on the deal to bolster its list of new
drugs before it loses exclusivity on Humira, the anti-inflammation drug
used to treat arthritis, in the US in 2023. At that point AbbVie expects
seven rivals to enter the market.

--

https://www.ft.com/content/7ce3e804-33d5-46d4-ab1c-1ab1a01b14ef

US regulator clears AbbVie’s $63bn deal for Allergan
Federal Trade Commission votes 3-2 to approve tie-up between makers of
Botox and Humira


Kiran Stacey in Washington and James Fontanella-Khan in New York 5 HOURS
AGOPrint this page1
A US competition regulator has given the go-ahead for US drugmaker AbbVie
to buy Allergan, which makes Botox, in a $63bn deal that the American
company hopes will replenish its pipeline of new drugs.

The Federal Trade Commission announced on Tuesday it had voted 3-2 to
approve the acquisition after the companies agreed to sell some of
Allergan’s assets to Nestlé and AstraZeneca.

Those assets relate to the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency —
a condition which means patients are unable to digest food properly — as
well as colitis and Crohn’s disease. The commission said it did not see any
risk to competition beyond those areas, despite the two Democratic
commissioners voting against the takeover.

The FTC said in a statement: “Over the course of their nine-month
investigation, commission staff explored a wide range of theories of
competitive harm, including harm to innovation. They uncovered no evidence
of such harms beyond those remedied by the proposed consent.”

In a dissenting opinion, Rohit Chopra, one of the Democratic commissioners,
called the FTC’s decision “risky and concerning”, saying that he had wanted
to block the merger.

He added in a tweet: “Nestlé may be the world’s largest food and beverage
company, but it does not make prescription drugs.

“I am unwilling to trust this candy and cat litter conglomerate to restore
competition for patients needing medicine for serious pancreatic
conditions.”

AbbVie’s mega-deal had been called into question by several investors in
February as they feared that regulators would block the Botox maker’s
takeover. The company is relying on the deal to bolster its list of new
drugs before it loses exclusivity on Humira, the anti-inflammation drug
used to treat arthritis, in the US in 2023. At that point AbbVie expects
seven rivals to enter the market.

As well as Botox, Allergan makes drugs that are used in eyecare,
gastroenterology and to treat the central nervous system.


Under pressure to find the next big-money medicine as their blockbuster
drugs faced the upcoming loss of patent protection, several big
pharmaceutical companies went on a buying spree in 2019, spending billions
of dollars to secure new assets.

Other deals included Bristol-Myers-Squibb’s $74bn takeover of biotech group
Celgene and Pfizer’s $11.4bn acquisition of Array BioPharma.

Dealmaking in the sector has come to halt following the coronavirus
pandemic. However, the regulator’s decision to approve the deal is likely
to boost business sentiment.

The European Commission approved the deal earlier this year, leaving the
Irish High Court as the only institution whose consent is still needed.
Allergan is domiciled in Ireland.




-- 
Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International
41 22 791 6727
thiru at keionline.org


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