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Japan-based Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma (DSP) will acquire Massachusetts-based Sepracor for approximately $2.6 billion, the companies announced in a joint statement. Sepracor will become a subsidiary of DSP, and retain its name, branding and intellectual property rights, as well as maintain its operations based in Marlborough, MA and Canada. Sepracor Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Sepracor, reported revenues of $1.3 billion for 2008, due in large part to sales of Lunesta, a popular sleep aid.

Abbott
announced that it will acquire California-based Visiogen, a privately held developer of ocular products and technologies, for $400 million in cash. Through the acquisition, Abbott will gain a next-generation accommodating intraocular lens technology, to address presbyopia for cataract patients, according to a company release.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a Los Angeles-based non-profit healthcare provider, launched a campaign against Merck accusing the company of “criminal AIDS drug pricing” on Isentress. Merck recently gained an expanded use for Isentress, which is now approved as a first-line therapy. The AHF will mail mock-up “WANTED” postcards depicting Merck CEO Richard T. Clark as a criminal to residents of Whitehouse Station, NJ, where Merck is headquartered. Isentress is the first of a new class of HIV/AIDS treatments called integrase inhibitors. According to an AHF statement, the product's retail price per patient, per year, comes to $12,864, making it “the most expensive antiretroviral recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services for therapy naive patients.”

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