Sun Pharma's US unit to buy URL Pharma

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, India's most valuable drug maker, announced late on Monday that it had reached an agreement to buy the generic drugs business of US-based URL Pharma from Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. The purchase will be made through Sun's wholly-owned US subsidiary, Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories.

A Sun Pharma release said, "Upon completion of the purchase, the non-Colcrys generic assets of URL Pharma will be owned and managed by Caraco. The deal is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including applicable regulatory approvals."

Without giving financial details, a Sun Pharma spokesperson described the deal as "moderately-sized" and said it would add to Caraco's US generics business.

The statement means that upon completion of the deal, Caraco will own and manage URL Pharma's generic assets other than Colchicine, a drug used to treat swelling and pain in certain conditions.

This is Sun Pharma's second acquisition in the United States within two months after it decided to buy skin treatment company Dusa Pharmaceuticals Inc for $230 million.

Takeda had acquired URL Pharma for an upfront payment of $800 million in June last year with a provision for possible additional payments based on future performance.

Set up in 1983 and listed since 1994, Sun Pharma, headquartered in Mumbai, manufactures and markets a large basket of pharmaceutical formulations as branded generics as well as generics in India, the US and several other markets. In India, the company is a leader in the niche therapy areas of psychiatry, neurology, cardiology, nephrology, gastroenterology, orthopaedics and ophthalmology.

News of the deal emerged after trading hours on the bourses. However, in morning trading today on the Bombay Stock Exchange, Sun Pharma's shares rose as much as 2.5 per cent.