LONDON, PHILADELPHIA and LIBERTY CORNER, N.J., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire-
FirstCall/ -- GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) (NYSE: GSK) and Reliant
Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that they had reached an agreement
under which Reliant will be acquired by GSK for $1.65 billion (800 million
pounds Sterling) in cash.
Reliant, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company focused on
cardiovascular therapies, recorded net sales of $341 million in the nine
months ending September 30, 2007, an increase of 62% over the comparable
time period a year earlier.
GSK expects the transaction will be slightly accretive to earnings in
2008, excluding integration costs, and will create additional value in
Through its strategic in-licensing and development strategy, Reliant
has developed a portfolio of specialty medicines combating heart disease,
including US rights to Lovaza(TM) (omega-3-acid ethyl esters), a treatment
for adult patients with very high levels of triglycerides. Triglycerides
are fatty substances in the blood associated with increased risks of
coronary artery disease. Lovaza is indicated as an adjunct to diet to
reduce triglyceride levels in adults with very high (greater than or equal
to 500 mg/dL) triglyceride levels.
High lipid levels continue to be a growing health problem in the United
States, with up to 5 million people having triglyceride levels classified
as very high. Lovaza is the only prescription omega-3 medicine approved by
the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of very high
triglycerides, and remains the only omega-3 medicine that, along with diet
and exercise, has been clinically proven to provide a 45% reduction in
triglycerides in adult patients with very high triglyceride levels.
Launched in late 2005, Lovaza (formerly known as Omacor(R)) achieved
rapid uptake among patients and health care professionals. In the nine
months ending September 30, 2007, net sales were $206 million, an increase
of 115% over the first nine months of 2006.
Lovaza competes in the non-statin dyslipidemia segment of the US
cardiovascular market, where it had achieved a 10% market share of total
prescriptions as of September 30, 2007. Sales in the non-statin
dyslipidemia market totaled approximately $2.2 billion in 2006 and are
expected to grow in excess of 20% a year. GSK believes there is significant
opportunity for future growth of Lovaza in this market segment.
Reliant licensed the rights to Lovaza in the US and Puerto Rico from
Pronova BioPharma ASA (Oslo: PRON), a publicly traded Norwegian company
that will continue to supply the product's primary material. Rights to
Lovaza in other markets have been licensed by Pronova to several other
Commenting on the acquisition agreement, Chris Viehbacher, President,
US Pharmaceuticals, GSK, said, "The addition of Lovaza to the GSK portfolio
adds a new driver of sales growth in the US business. It represents a
strong strategic fit, complementing Coreg CR(R), a leading treatment for
heart failure and hypertension, and adds to our growing profile in the
cardiovascular disease area."
"Today is a momentous date for Reliant," said Bradley T. Sheares, CEO
of Reliant. "We are very proud of the work that our employees have done to
build this company, particularly the energy and perseverance of our sales
teams, who have demonstrated their worth in building a formidable Lovaza
franchise in less than 24 months. We see great additional potential through
this acquisition for Lovaza and the patients who could benefit from it."
The acquisition is subject to approval by the US Federal Trade
Commission and is expected to conclude before year-end.
In addition to Lovaza, Reliant Pharmaceuticals, based in Liberty
Corner, NJ, currently markets three other in-licensed cardiovascular
products - high blood pressure treatments DynaCirc CR(R) (isradipine) and
InnoPran XL(R) (propanolol HCl), as well as Rythmol SR(R) (propafenone),
which treats abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmia.
GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based
pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the
quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live
longer. For company information, visit www.gsk.com.
GlaxoSmithKline forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995, GSK cautions investors that any
forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made
in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause
actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may
affect GSK's operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the Operating
and Financial Review and Prospects in the company's Annual Report on Form
20-F for 2006.
About Reliant Pharmaceuticals
Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company that
specializes in the development, commercialization and marketing of
prescription therapeutic products. Reliant currently markets four
cardiovascular products in the United States and focuses on promoting its
products to targeted primary care and specialty physicians, as well as
selected hospitals and academic centers in the United States. Reliant's
sales force infrastructure is comprised of approximately 880 sales and
marketing professionals nationwide.
Reliant Pharmaceuticals forward-looking statements
To the extent any statements made in this release contain information
that is not historical, these statements are essentially forward looking
and are subject to risks and uncertainties, and other factors that may
cause Reliant's actual results, levels of activity, performance or
achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of
activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these
forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on
forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond Reliant's
control and which could materially affect actual results, levels of
activity, performance or achievements.