Abbott has agreed to buy specialty firm Kos for $3.7 billion, a move that complements its cardiovascular franchise and boosts its pipeline. According to terms of the deal, Abbott will pay $78 per share in cash for all of the outstanding stock of Kos, a 56% premium over the closing price Nov. 3, Abbott said in a statement.For Abbott, which markets cholesterol drug TriCor, the acquisition expands its presence in the lipid management market. Kos’ two lead products are Niaspan, which raises good cholesterol levels, and Advicor, a Niaspan/lovastatin combination product that treats patients with multiple lipid disorders. The specialty firm is also developing a combination of Niaspan with simvastatin, a generic version of Merck’s Zocor, called Simcor, in late-stage development. Abbott’s presence in the asthma and diabetes markets also benefits from the deal. Kos markets an asthma product, Azmacort, and its Flutiform is in Phase III trials for asthma in adults and adolescents, with SkyePharma taking the drug through trials. Kos is developing an inhaled insulin product, complementing Abbott’s glucose monitoring and diabetes nutritionals businesses. Abbott lost patent protection on antibiotic Biaxin in 2005, and other expirations loom for antibiotics and epilepsy treatments in its portfolio.
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