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Dublin's Actavis to change to Allergan

Written by Business World, on 18th Feb 2015. Posted in Ireland

article headlineDublin-domiciled Actavis, a generic drugmaker that has been steadily acquiring branded medicines, said it will change its name to Allergan. This will come after it completes its planned $66 billion purchase of the Botox maker, signalling its growing focus on patent-protected drugs. Allergan's medicine chest is chock full of branded drugs, which command far higher prices than generics. They include Botox, a $2.3 billion-a-year anti-wrinkle drug also used to treat migraine headaches and other ailments. The company also has a leading portfolio of eye treatments, facial fillers and medical devices. Actavis, which began as a New Jersey-based generics company called Watson, took its current name after it bought Swiss drugmaker Actavis Group in 2012, a deal that made it the world's third largest generic company. It then beefed up its slate of branded drugs by purchasing Forest Laboratories and Warner Chilcott, which enabled it to move its headquarters to Dublin. Fourth-quarter sales of Actavis's branded drugs nearly tripled to $1.83 billion in North America, accounting for 45 percent of total revenue, the company said on Wednesday. Generic drug sales rose 1 percent to $1.78 billion. Actavis posted a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast, saying it expected strong sales of new branded drugs. It agreed to buy Allergan Inc last November, outbidding a hostile offer by activist investor William Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Actavis said drugs in its pipeline could bring in $9 billion in revenue once approved. The company said it expects products in women's health, anti-infectives and bowel drugs to support sales in the near future, even as it continues to focus on making copycat versions of drugs. "We remain focused on the development of complex generic products with barriers to entry that support longer-term value in this competitive pharmaceutical segment," said Actavis CEO Brent Saunders, who held a meeting with investors in New York on Wednesday. Actavis has more than 200 generic drug marketing applications pending with the U.S. health regulator. For the full year, Actavis said it expects an adjusted profit of $16.30-$17.30 per share on revenue of about $15 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of $16.63 per share on revenue of $15.60 billion. (Reuters) For more visit www.businessworld.ie

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