News Feature | April 29, 2014

Forest Labs Bids $1.5 Billion To Acquire Furiex

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Forest Laboratories announced that it will spend as much as $1.5 billion in its latest acquisition bid to buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals. Acquiring Furiex would give Forest Labs one of the broadest product lines for gastrointestinal disease treatments.

Brent Saunders, CEO and President of Forest Laboratories, said, “The acquisition of Furiex builds on our growing position in gastroenterology and helps to create a leading GI company within Forest. It is a natural extension of our GI business following our $2.9 billion acquisition of Aptalis earlier this year. We believe eluxadoline will be very complementary to our anchor GI product Linzess and additive to our broader GI portfolio, making us more relevant to gastroenterologists and primary care physicians. With eluxadoline, we expect to have one of the broadest product offerings for the $38 billion GI disease market.”

Furiex reported positive top-line results from two pivotal Phase III clinical trials in February assessing eluxadoline in the treatment of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-d). IBS-d affects an estimated 28 million patients in the U.S. and Europe. The company is on track to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for eluxadoline by the end of the third quarter of 2014.

Fred Eshelman, founding chairman of Furiex, said, “Furiex has built a strong portfolio of life-improving therapies for patients, including development stage assets and royalty-bearing products. Forest’s acquisition of our company is a testament to the strength of the business we have built. I am very proud of our team for its hard work and excellent development of eluxadoline in just under four years. There is a strong business fit between Furiex and Forest, and eluxadoline is expected to contribute to Forest’s leading GI franchise.”

The company announced that it also plans to divest certain Furiex royalties to Royalty Pharma once the acquisition is completed.

Actavis PLC earlier announced that it planned to buy Forest Labs in a cash-and-stock deal valued at an estimated $25 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the middle of the year. Forest Labs said that Actavis agreed to and supports the Furiex acquisition.