Novartis sells skin drug to Meda for $420 million

ZURICH Thu Apr 7, 2011 3:05am EDT

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ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis is selling the global rights to skin medicine Elidel to Sweden's Meda for $420 million, boosting Meda's position in dermatology.

Novartis is to receive the payment upfront, while Meda will take over the global manufacturing of Elidel within three years once the deal is closed, Novartis said in a statement on Thursday.

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter.

Elidel, which has global sales of around $120 million, was approved in the United States in 2001 and in the European Union a year later.

Depending on the country, Elidel is used as a second-line therapy for the short- and long-term management of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis (AD) in adults and children two years of age and older.

AD is a chronically relapsing inflammatory skin disease and the treatment was the first non-steroidal topical cream treatment specifically developed for the disease.

(Reporting by Katie Reid; editing by Ben Hirschler)

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