January 15, 2015 / 9:15 PM / 4 years ago

Depomed to pay $1 bln for J&J pain drug franchise

Jan 15 (Reuters) - Depomed Inc on Thursday said it has agreed to pay $1.05 billion to acquire the U.S. rights to Johnson & Johnson’s Nucynta opioid pain drug franchise, giving the smaller company a new flagship product expected to significantly add to revenue and earnings.

The deal, expected to close in the second quarter, gives Depomed Nucynta ER for management of pain, including neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, severe enough to require around-the-clock treatment. It also gains an older immediate release version of the drug for moderate to severe pain, and a liquid form of the medicine not yet on the market.

Over the 12 months ending in September, the Nucynta franchise had sales of $166 million - something of an afterthought for J&J but revenue that would make it Depomed’s top-selling product.

The acquisition is expected to immediately add to Depomed’s adjusted earnings this year and beyond, the company said, adding that it would provide a more detailed forecast once the deal closes.

The medicine has U.S. patent protection until 2022, with a potential for a pediatric extension into 2023.

Depomed said it had set aside $500 million for the transaction and would fund the rest through a combination of debt, equity and equity-linked financing. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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