Leo Pharma buys dermatology portfolio from Astellas

LEO Pharma, the speciality dermatology firm, is looking to expand its presence in the therapy area by buying Astellas’ portfolio of skin drugs in a deal worth €675 million.

Denmark-based LEO Pharma says the addition of Astellas’ dermatology products will extend the company’s reach to millions more people living with skin diseases, and gives the company a foothold in growing markets such as China and Russia. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016. It excludes the transfer of manufacturing facilities and the companies have not disclosed if it will involve any job losses.

The Astellas dermatology portfolio comprises prescription and over-the-counter products, including long-standing brands such as Protopic (tacrolimus) for eczema, Locoid (hydrocortisone butyrate), Locobase skin care products and Zineryt (erythromycin and zinc acetate) for acne.

The transaction will be the largest in LEO Pharma’s history of more than 100 years. The company predicts its annual turnover could increase by more than 20% once the portfolio is completed, and is in line with its 2020 strategy; of “internal innovation together with growth through acquisitions and partnerships serves to strengthen the company’s global position as a preferred partner in dermatology.”

“This is a historic milestone for LEO Pharma and will be instrumental in our efforts to help even more people living with skin diseases. We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to working closely with Astellas to ensure a seamless transfer of the portfolio,” says Gitte Aabo, chief executive and president of LEO Pharma. “With our expanded portfolio, we will be able to offer patients an even wider range of treatment solutions to meet their individual needs. For LEO Pharma, leading in dermatology care is about making a real difference to people’s everyday lives.”

Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and chief executive of Astellas comments: “Astellas continuously considers its strategy and as a result, we reached this decision. We feel that dermatology patients around the world will be better served by transferring these products to LEO Pharma, a company with a strong focus on the dermatology therapeutic area. We are pleased to work with LEO Pharma to ensure smooth continuation of product supply around the world.”

Lilian Anekwe


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