Watson’s garden of Eden

As a key part of its plan to expand its global operations and supply chain to achieve increased efficiencies in production, Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently completed the acquisition of Eden Biopharm Group

Lloyd Dunlap
MORRISTOWN, N.J.—As a key part of its plan to expand its global operations and supply chain to achieve increased efficiencies in production, Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. recently completed the acquisition of Eden Biopharm Group Ltd. for approximately $15 million.

Eden is a biopharmaceutical development and contract manufacturing company located in Liverpool, England. As a result of the acquisition of the Arrow Group in December 2009, Watson had previously acquired approximately 36 percent of Eden. Eden, which will be part of Watson's Global Brands Division, will maintain its established contract services model, while providing Watson with biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing capabilities.

In announcing year-end results, Watson President and CEO Paul Bisaro notes that the company has "strengthened our brand pipeline with many near and long-term commercial opportunities and have taken measurable and sustainable step into biologics." He adds that double-digit compounded annual growth rate is projected for 2010 to 2012. Revenue in 2010 is expected to be approximately $3.5 billion, with roughly two-thirds of the total from its generics segment, which includes $600 million in international revenues.

"Completing the acquisition of Eden is the next strategic step in our commitment to establishing a major position in biologic products on a global basis," says Bisaro. "In addition to development and manufacturing facilities, the Eden acquisition adds substantial intellectual capital to Watson's biologics activities, as Dr. Crawford Brown and the Eden management team will remain with Watson."

Brown, co-founder of Eden, has more than 20 years of international experience in biopharmaceutical development, including the successful pan-European submission for a complex recombinant vaccine which included a European Medicines Agency (EMEA) sponsored pre-approval inspection, Bisaro adds.

Founded in 2000, Eden Biodesign is an integrated biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization that provides strategic consultancy, process development, cGMP manufacturing and analytical development services. The company's Liverpool facility is custom-designed for multi-product operation and supports the development of biopharmaceuticals from proof-of-concept through to cGMP manufacture for clinical trials, market launch and commercial supply.

"Our acquisition of Arrow has enabled us to substantially reshape our generic business. We enter 2010 with a larger product portfolio, an enhanced pipeline of new products, and access to established and emerging markets where we can benefit from the increase in generic utilization," says Tom Russillo, executive vice president of global generics.
As a result of the acquisition Watson now has 11 production facilities around the world, with the capacity to produce 20 billion pharmaceutical doses annually.

"We have already begun to maximize our new global opportunities for the near-term, while putting in place the strategies that will deliver long-term opportunities to ensure generic growth across all markets in which we now have a position," Russillo states.

During 2009, Watson filed 36 Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including a recently filed application for Lidocaine Topical Patch 5%, a generic version of Endo Pharmaceutical's Lidoderm product.

Watson management notes that its U.S. generic portfolio has increased by approximately 20 products as a result of the Arrow acquisition, with such key products as Ramipril, Isradipine, Ciprofloxacin and Acarbose. Sales and marketing of U.S. generic products were transferred to Watson sales and customer service at the end of 2009, the Arrow marketing operations in Florida have been closed and transfer to the Watson label is underway.

Watson currently markets more than 170 generic prescription product families in the United States. In addition, the company develops and distributes specialized branded pharmaceutical products focused on urology and women's health.
 

Lloyd Dunlap

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