Company News: Forest Labs, Almirall, Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon

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Forest Labs entered a collaboration with Almirall to develop, market and distribute Almirall's LAS100977, a Phase II long-acting beta2 agonist, in the US. LAS100977 expands Forest's respiratory pipeline for COPD and marks the second such agreement between the firms. Three years ago, they teamed up on Eklira (aclidinium bromide), which is in Phase III for COPD.

Johnson & Johnson operating company Ethicon said it is acquiring Acclarent, a privately held maker of minimally-invasive devices used in sinus surgery, for $785 million in cash. In a statement, J&J said the acquisition of Acclarent gives Ethicon a new growth platform in ENT-related conditions. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010.

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