GSK acquires Reliant in move to boost cardio franchise

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In a move to bolster its cardiovascular product line, GlaxoSmithKline has announced plans to purchase New Jersey-based Reliant Pharmaceuticals for $1.65 billion in cash.

The acquisition will strengthen GSK's cardiovascular drugs area anchored by its hypertension and congestive heart failure treatment Coreg, which sold $1.1 billion in the first nine months of 2007.

The acquisition adds Reliant's triglyceride-lowerer Lovaza which had sales of $206 million in the first nine months of 2007. Reliant's other drugs include Dyna Circ and InnoPran XL to treat high blood pressure and Rythmol SR for abnormal heartbeats.

Privately held Reliant reported sales growth of 62% in the first nine months of 2007, to $341 million. The company has 1,000 employees, 800 of them in sales, a GSK spokesman said in a published report.

Reliant's CEO Bradley Sheares said in a statement that his sales force has “demonstrated their worth in building a formidable Lovaza franchise in less than 24 months.”

The acquisition is subject to approval by the US Federal Trade Commission and is expected to conclude before year-end.

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