19 May 2003 14:52 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--US pharmaceuticals developer Chiron said Monday it will acquire UK vaccines specialist PowderJect Pharmaceuticals in an $878m (Euro750.4m) cash deal to form the world's second largest flu vaccines provider.
Emeryville, California-based Chiron - which has the fifth largest vaccines business in the world - said the transaction has been approved by both company's boards and is subject to "customary regulatory filings and other customary conditions."
PowderJect's Fluvirin is a leading flu vaccine in the UK and is one of two injectable flu vaccines in the US. With its three brands - Agrippal S1, Begrivac and Fluad - Chiron is the second largest flu vaccines producer outside the US.
Howard Pien, Chiron chief executive officer and president, said PowderJect was "an excellent strategic fit" for Chiron.
He added: "This deal will help us to achieve our goal of expanding our global vaccines business quickly in the US while building on our platform for new products. In addition to allowing us to enter the US business for vaccinations for flu, the combination with PowderJect will expand our manufacturing capabilities."
According to a company statement, the combination of Chiron and PowderJect will provide a stronger platform for new products including Chiron's flu cell culture vaccines, meningococcal vaccines and novel vaccines for viral infections currently in development. The combination also will provide increased manufacturing capability.
Chiron continued: "PowderJect's manufacturing facility at Liverpool in the UK is one of the largest flu vaccines manufacturing facilities in Europe. This, together with PowderJect's facility in Sweden, will complement Chiron's existing manufacturing operations."
Chiron is a global pharmaceutical company that commercialises its products through three business units: biopharmaceuticals, vaccines and blood testing.
PowderJect is the sixth largest vaccine business in the world, according to Chiron.
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