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Sanofi selling CMO & in-house production site to Valeant

By Nick Taylor , 11-Jul-2011

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is to buy a dermatology unit, including CMO and in-house production assets, from Sanofi.

Canada-headquartered Valeant has agreed to buy the dermatology unit, called Dermik, from Sanofi for $425m (€300m). Sanofi’s site in Laval, Canada, which includes the Dermik manufacturing plant, is included in the deal along with a portfolio of dermatology products.

"We are pleased to add another strong dermatology franchise to our growing operations in the US and Canada. Furthermore, the manufacturing facility will provide increased capacity for our future growth initiatives”, said Michael Pearson, chairman and CEO of Valeant.

Dermik uses the production plant for its in-house portfolio and to offer contract manufacturing services. The plant produces 70 formulations and more than 200 tablets, capsules, creams, and non-sterile liquids, generating revenues of $240m, including contract manufacturing sales.

Sanofi posted 2010 full year net sales of €30.4bn, making Dermik a tiny part of the business. Selling the business will allow Sanofi “to further concentrate on its growth platforms” and, according to the French pharma, will benefit Dermik and the Laval site.

In particular, Christopher Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi, said: “Our manufacturing operations in Laval and our field operations teams will benefit from Valeant’s stronger presence in dermatology.”

Recent M&A

Buying Sanofi’s assets follows last year’s $3.2bn Biovail merger. In a September 2010 email , filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Valeant said the Biovail integration strategy includes plans to cut headcount by 25 per cent across the US and Canada.

Following the deal with Biovail dermatology became one of three therapeutic areas at Valeant, the others being neurology and ophthalmology. Adding Sanofi products including Benzaclin (clindamycin / benzoyl peroxide) and Carac (fluorouracil cream) boosts the dermatology portfolio.