04 February 2004 12:26 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Sanofi-Synthelabo, the French pharmaceuticals company embroiled in a hostile Euro48bn ($60bn) takeover bid for Franco-German rival Aventis, said Wednesday it has agreed to buy out its Japanese partner Taisho in a joint venture which markets Sanofi's anti-arrhythmic drug Ancaron in Japan.
Sanofi said it will acquire Taisho's 49% stake in Sanofi-Synthelabo-Taisho Pharmaceutical from March 2006. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The joint venture with Japan's largest over-the-counter (OTC) drug manufacturer achieved Ancaron (amiodarone hydrochloride) sales of Euro33m in Japan last year.
During a transition period until 31 March 2006, Sanofi-Synthelabo said its wholly owned Japanese subsidiary Sanofi-Synthelabo KK and Taisho will jointly promote the product to Japanese specialists, with leadership taken progressively by Sanofi-Synthelabo KK. Clinical activities for the development of the injectable form of amiodarone hydrochloride, which has been granted an orphan drug status in Japan, have already been transferred to Sanofi-Synthelabo KK.
Sanofi said the Taisho deal marked a major step forward in building the capability to market independently in Japan products from its research and development (R&D) pipeline.
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