Allergan’s largest business segment is eye care, which generated $2.7 billion in revenue last year largely on the strength of dry eye remedies and glaucoma treatments. Given the recent pharma interest in ophthalmology, particularly around such areas as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema, its eye care specialty could prove appealing.
Allergan was even sold once before, way back in 1980, when Deals of the Week was but a mimeographed note delivered via carrier pigeon. According to a Los Angeles Times story from back in the day, SmithKline Corp. acquired it for the princely sum of $259 million, built its revenues all the way up to $80 million in 1988, then spun it out in the summer of 1989. Those were the days. - Paul Bonanos
Vivus/Menarini: While it waits for results from a contentious proxy contest, Vivus Inc. is still striking deals. The company is still fending off a challenge centering on its marketing plan for weight-loss drug Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate), but it’s found a partner for erectile dysfunction treatment Stendra (avanafil). Italy’s Menarini Group agreed July 9 to pay €16 million ($21 million) to obtain Stendra’s rights in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, although Vivus says it expects another €23 million during the first year of the deal. Milestone payments could add €79 million to the deal, which also includes a provision under which Menarini will pay Vivus’ obligations to Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. and a ten-year supply agreement. Menarini already markets premature ejaculation drug Priligy (dapoxetine) in Europe, and says it will field a sales team of 1,350 representatives for Stendra. The Italian company plans to conduct a commercial launch in early 2014. Stendra is a phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor in the same class as Viagra (sildenafil citrate). Top Vivus shareholder First Manhattan Co. is challenging company leadership, which elected not to choose a marketing partner as it launched Qsymia, a slow seller in danger of being eclipsed by Eisai Co. Ltd. and Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s rival drug Belviq (lorcaserin) despite a first-to-market advantage. - P.B.