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Cipla acquires rights for a prescription drug from bankrupt US firm Achaogen
Photo Credit: Reuters

Cipla USA Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indian pharmaceutical and biotechnology major Cipla Ltd, has acquired worldwide rights to a prescription drug from United States pharmaceutical company Achaogen Inc..

The drug, Zemdri, was acquired from Achaogen as part of an auction of its assets under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. The drug is an intravenous medicine used for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections in adults who are unresponsive to other available options. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Cipla USA will hold the worldwide rights (excluding Greater China) to Zemdri along with its allied assets and liabilities, the firm said in a statement. The drug was approved by the US Food & Drug Administration in June last year, and launched shortly after that. It has also been filed for approval in the European Union.

Cipla managing director and global chief executive Umang Vohra said the acquisition would deepen the pharmaceutical major’s speciality product pipeline in its focus areas of the central nervous system, lung delivery of medicines and institutionally administered products.

“Our expertise in manufacturing, marketing and conducting educational programmes in the antibiotic segment makes us well-placed to take Zemdri globally,” Vohra said.

Shares of Cipla Ltd were trading 3.14% up at Rs 535.05 apiece at the time of writing this report.

Achaogen filed for bankruptcy in April this year. According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the company expects the bankruptcy to serve as the basis for it delisting from the Nasdaq Stock Market.

In a statement announcing the bankruptcy, the company said it expected bids to be submitted by May 29, with a structured auction beginning by June 3 and concluding 10 days later, by June 13.

The San Francisco-headquartered Achaogen was focused on developing and commercialising antibacterial agents to address the issue of growing multi-drug resistant infections. Zemdri was the company’s first commercial product, with its development being partly bankrolled by funds from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an office of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Cipla USA’s parent Cipla has divested and acquired over the past few years.

Cipla acquired US-based generic businesses InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2015 for around $550 million (around Rs 3,650 crore then). In 2016, it divested its stake in Chase Pharmaceuticals to Allergan Inc. for an upfront payment of $125 million to earn a four-fold return on its investment.

In April this year, Cipla announced that it would acquire a 30% stake in South African connected healthcare company Brandmed (Pty) Ltd for 65 million rand ($4.6 million or Rs 32 crore).

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