Akorn Inc. plans to acquire the U.S. rights to three branded ophthalmic products from Merck & Co.


Akorn, Merck, ophthalmic products, Inspire Pharmaceuticals, AzaSite, COSOPT, COSOPT PF, Raj Rai, Jay Galeota
































































































































































































































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Akorn to buy three ophthalmic products from Merck

November 15th, 2013

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Akorn Inc. plans to acquire the U.S. rights to three branded ophthalmic products from Merck & Co.

Akorn said Friday that the move includes product rights obtained through the acquisition of Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Merck, for $52.8 million in cash.

Products included in the transaction are AzaSite, COSOPT and COSOPT PF. In addition, Akorn has signed a two-year supply agreement with Merck as well as a transition services agreement with customary terms.

Akorn said it plans to ship COSOPT and COSOPT PF immediately upon the closing of the deal and expects to begin shipping AzaSite in the first quarter of 2014.

"We are excited to announce this transaction which will further expand Akorn’s position as a leader in U.S. ophthalmology products," stated Raj Rai, chief executive officer of Akorn. "The addition of these branded products to Akorn’s portfolio strengthens our business and leverages our existing ophthalmic sales force and physician relationships."

AzaSite 1% (azithromycin ophthalmic solution) is a prescription sterile eye drop solution used to treat bacterial conjunctivitis, while COSOPT (dorzolamide hydrochloride and timolol maleate ophthalmic solution) is a prescription sterile eye drop solution used to lower the pressure in the eye in people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, when their eye pressure is too high and beta-adrenergic blocker medicines alone have not adequately lowered the pressure.

COSOPT PF 2%/0.5% (dorzolamide hydrochloride - timolol maleate ophthalmic solution) is a preservative-free prescription sterile eye drop solution that is supplied in sterile, single-use containers and is used to lower the pressure in the eye in people with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, when their eye pressure is too high and beta-adrenergic blocker medicines alone have not adequately lowered the pressure.

"The decision to divest a portion of our ophthalmics business in the U.S. is part of our ongoing strategy to sharpen our commercial focus and improve our operational effectiveness," commented Jay Galeota, president of hospital and specialty care at Merck. "This transaction provides products that complement Akorn's portfolio and is designed to ensure continued access for physicians and patients to these medicines in the U.S."

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