Acquisition breathes new life into Allergan’s R&D efforts

December 16, 2014

The recently announced acquisition of Allergan Inc. by Actavis means the Irvine, Calif.-based maker of Botox will no longer be the target of a hostile takeover by Canadian firm Valeant Pharmaceuticals-which in turn means Allergan’s research-and-development programs will continue unabated.

The recently announced acquisition of Allergan Inc. by Actavis means the Irvine, Calif.-based maker of Botox will no longer be the target of a hostile takeover by Canadian firm Valeant Pharmaceuticals-which in turn means Allergan’s research-and-development programs will continue unabated.

Valeant’s months-long takeover campaign featured lawsuits and proxy battles as Allergan fought to fend off Valeant’s advances in what Reuters describes as “one of the healthcare sector’s most complex takeover efforts.” The Valeant cash-and-stock deal was reportedly worth about $54 billion and included a proposal to cut R&D by $900 million. According to Reuters, Actavis proposed a relatively modest $400 million in R&D cuts in its more generous $66 billion bid.

“We were shocked that Valeant wanted to reduce our R&D by 90 percent-thank God that’s past tense now,” Allergan Chairman and CEO David E. I. Pyott told Dermatology Times. “Both companies-Allergan and Actavis-have matching values in terms of R&D and service to customers.”

Actavis President and CEO Brent Saunders said any R&D cuts will come from both companies, not just Allergan, and that they will be to functions, not programs.

“We’re fully committed to R&D, especially in the medical dermatology and cosmetic areas,” he said. “R&D is an essential part of our commitment to our customers.”

Pyott said now that the Valeant cloud has passed, the company will focus on getting FDA approval for Volift, a nasolabial filler already approved in Canada and Europe, and on further development with a South Korean firm of a liquid neuromodulator. Both are about two years away, he said.

Saunders added that Aczone X, for acne, and an oxymetazoline treatment for rosacea are also in the development pipeline.

Saunders said the deal should be finalized by the second quarter of 2015.