Zydus Cadila acquires US drugmaker Sentynl Therapeutics

Cadila Healthcare Ltd, which operates under the brand Zydus Cadila, has purchased US-based specialty pharmaceuticals company Sentynl Therapeutics Inc for an undisclosed amount in its second acquisition within three weeks.

The acquisition will help Zydus enter the specialty pain market in the US valued at $8 billion, the company said in a statement on Friday. The transaction is earnings per share accretive, it added.

On Wednesday, The Economic Times had reported, citing people in the know of the development, that the acquisition was valued around $171 million (Rs 1,164 crore).

Sentynl Therapeutics, based in San Diego, sources niche products designed to treat pain and other central nervous system conditions.

Pankaj R Patel, chairman and managing director at Zydus, said in the statement the acquisition opens up a new business avenue for the Indian drugmaker in the specialty prescription segment in the US. It also offers the company a platform to launch more specialty products in the US, he added.

The acquisition is solely funded by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ. Leerink Partners LLC acted as the exclusive financial adviser to Sentynl on the transaction, the statement said.

Zydus has been on an acquisition spree over the past year, both in India and overseas, as pharmaceutical companies continue to stitch strategic deals.

The latest acquisition comes after the company said in late December that it acquired six brands from global drug giant Merck for an undisclosed amount to strengthen its portfolio in the therapeutic segment. 

The company had struck at least four more deals last year. In August, it acquired Melgain lotion used for treatment of skin depigmentation from Issar Pharma to strengthen its dermatological portfolio. In June, the company decided to buy Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's two abbreviated new drug applications to strengthen its US portfolio.

In March last year, Zydus said its subsidiary Zydus Healthcare had acquired gastrointestinal brand Actibile from Kolkata-based drug firm Albert David. And in January last year, it acquired some animal health and manufacturing operations at Haridwar in Uttarakhand from US animal health company Zoetis Inc.

Zydus develops, makes and sells small molecule drugs, biologic therapeutics, vaccines, bulk drugs, animal healthcare and wellness products. The Ahmedabad-based company employs over 19,500 people worldwide including 1,200 scientists.

Zydus is not the only Indian drugmaker making acquisitions. Earlier this month, Aurobindo Pharma Ltd agreed to acquire Portugese drugmaker Generis Farmaceutica SA from private equity firm Magnum Capital Partners for €135 million (Rs 969 crore) in cash.

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