CIMA ditches aaiPharma for Cephalon

Related tags Opioid Heroin

Cephalon is to acquire CIMA Laboratories, best known for its
dissolve-on-the-tongue tablet technology, for $515 million (€449m)
in cash.

Cephalon is to acquire CIMA Laboratories, best known for its dissolve-on-the-tongue tablet technology, for $515 million (€449m) in cash, the companies announced last night.

The acquisition values CIMA at $34 per share, or around 10 per cent premium above its closing price yesterday of $31.31 per share. It appears that Cephalon has sidelined aaiPharma, which had agreed an all-stock buyout proposal with CIMA in August. CIMA reportedly rejected an initial approach from Cephalon of around $26 a share, but the latest deal was sweet enough to convince the board of its merits.

aaiPharma can take some comfort from the $11.4 million fee it will receive as a result of CIMA breaking its agreement.

CIMA offers Cephalon an opportunity to develop additional proprietary products using its oral drug delivery technologies, including its OraVescent orally-disintegrating tablet system. CIMA is developing an OraVescent form of fentanyl, which, if approved, would fit nicely with Cephalon's existing activities in pain care, including the opioid analgesic Actiq (oral transmucosyl fentanyl citrate) for breakthrough cancer pain.

Cephalon has been involved in a number of other acquisitions and mergers over the last three years and, over this period, has amassed its own stable of drug delivery technologies. These will now supplement CIMA's capabilities, according to Frank Baldino, Cephalon's chief executive.

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