Noven acquires JDS to transform business outlook

By Dr Matt Wilkinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Transdermal drug delivery Pharmacology Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

Transdermal drug delivery expert Noven Pharmaceuticals is to buy
JDS Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth $125m (€91m) to transform
itself into a 'fully-integrated speciality pharmaceutical company'.

The $125m deal will also Noven assume liability for $10m of debt from JDS while adding greater sales infrastructure, two branded prescription psychiatry products and a pipeline that includes psychiatry and women's health products, many in extended release format. Noven, a developer of transdermal drug delivery technologies and prescription transdermal products is looking to bolster its own product offerings of Vivelle-Dot, a prescription-only oestrogen patch, and Daytrana​, a methylphenidate transdermal system for the treatment of ADHD. Noven has traditionally relied on co-developing transdermal patch products with industry partners and will hope this acquisition adds greater to stability to its income stream and give the company a foothold in the psychiatric therapies market. "This is a transformational acquisition that expands our business model [and] advances Noven from a leading drug delivery company to a broader-based, fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical company. We believe it will increase Noven's growth rate over the longer term, as well as greatly improve the visibility of our pipeline and financial goals,"​ said Robert Strauss, Noven's CEO. "We will now have the products, infrastructure and category expertise necessary to market and sell products ourselves." ​ The acquisition will add Pexeva (paroxetine mesylate) a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor indicated for the treatment of depression, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and generalised anxiety to the company's current offering. In addition, the JDS acquisition will add Lithobid, the only branded lithium carbonate product sold in the US for bipolar disorder to Noven's portfolio. Noven will hope that Lithobid will soon be joined by Lithium QD, a once daily lithium formulation that is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials The acquisition will also see Noven take over Stavzor (valproic acid softgel), a drug for the treatment of bipolar disorder, migraines and epilepsy which is currently awaiting marketing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after a New Drug Application (NDA) was submitted last October. An extended release version of Stavzor, Stavzor ER, is currently in preclinical trials and Noven will hope to bring its transdermal patch delivery know-how to bear to add greater value to these products if approval is granted. In addition, the acquisition will see Noven strengthen its position in the women's health business with the addition of Mesafem (low dose paroxetine mesylate) a treatment for vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes) currently entering Phase 3 trials. "Mesafem has substantial commercial value independent of the psychiatry business, and fits perfectly with our existing expertise in the development and sale of products to treat the symptoms of menopause,"​ said Strauss.

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