Nycomed has signed a deal to buy 20 branded generic products in a number of central and eastern European countries from Sanofi-Aventis.

Under the terms of the agreement, the privately-owned Swiss firm is buying the portfolio of drugs from Sanofi’s recently-acquired Zentiva unit. The areas covered by the deal are the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Estonia and Bulgaria.

Financial details of the sale were not disclosed but Nycomed noted that the products had a total annual turnover of 17 million euros. The Zurich-headquartered group added that it will assume production of the drugs in the coming years.

Among the acquired products is Zentiva's well-established hypnotic Hypnogen (zolpidem) brand in the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Estonia. In the Czech Republic, Nycomed said that the acquisition “comprises a strong franchise of beta-blockers” – Vasocardin (metoprolol), Betaxa (betaxolol) and Tenoloc (celiprolol).

These products which will strengthen Nycomed's “well-established cardiovascular business around Ebrantil (urapidil)”, the company said. Among the other acquired products in the Czech Republic are brands like Trental (pentoxifylline) for claudication, the hepatoprotective Flavobion (silymarin) and Ercefuryl (nifuroxazide) for diarrhoea.