Three months after Sandoz announced it would acquire the Japanese business of Aspen Global Incorporated, a subsidiary of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings for $330 million, the deal has been completed.
This morning, Sandoz, the generics unit of Novartis, said it successfully closed the acquisition and has acquired all shares of the company and its assets in Japan. The deal reinforces Sandoz’s strategic focus on Japan. The acquisition enables Sandoz to expand its presence in Japan’s marketplace, the third-largest for generics and off-patent medicines worldwide. It also strengthens Sandoz’s presence in the hospital channel by complementing the broad Sandoz portfolio and pipeline of hospital generic and biosimilar products in Japan with a dedicated sales, marketing and medical organization, the company said this morning.
Richard Saynor, chief executive officer of Sandoz, said the closure of the deal for Aspen’s Japanese operations will strengthen the company’s position in Japan, which he described as a “stable and growing market.” Sandoz is “making bold moves in the marketplace to deliver on our purpose to pioneer access for patients by helping to address Japan’s patient and customer needs,” Saynor added, according to a statement.
The portfolio of drugs Aspen has in Japan consists primarily of off-patent branded medicines with a focus on anesthetics and specialty brands, the company said in its announcement. Aspen’s portfolio in Japan comprises approximately 20 products, now off-patent branded medicines with a focus on anesthetics, including Xylocaine. The specialty brands in Aspen’s portfolio include Imuran, and the deal also includes brands specific to Japan. The medicines in Aspen’s portfolio will “complement Sandoz broad hospital portfolio and pipeline in Japan thereby expanding access to the hospital channel,” the company said. Full-year sales of Aspen’s products for 2019 were €130 million, or about $144 million.
Additionally, Sandoz has entered into a five-year manufacturing and supply agreement with Aspen Global Incorporated for the supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients, semi-finished and finished goods related to the portfolio of products acquired by Sandoz through the transaction.
The completed acquisition comes hours after Sandoz lost a legal battle over how a medication is dispensed. On Thursday, a judge denied the company’s request to lift restrictions placed by United Therapeutics on the delivery of its pulmonary arterial hypertension drug, Remodulin. Sandoz has developed a generic for Remodulin called treprostinil. Sandoz filed its lawsuit claiming that United Therapeutics and Smiths Medical, the device company that makes the subcutaneous delivery system for the drug, had a stranglehold on pharmacies and were blocking the generic. Sandoz claimed in the lawsuit that United “placed artificial restrictions on Smiths’ cartridges to ensure they can only be used to administer injections of the brand-name treprostinil drug supplied by United Therapeutics.”