Nycomed’s busy week continues with the news that the privately-owned Swiss firm is setting up a joint venture with US giant GE Healthcare to market diagnostics in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Specifically, the JV, which is expected to become operational during the second half of 2010, will sell GE’s computed tomography, x-ray and magnetic resonance contrast media products. Hakan Bjorklund, chief executive of Nycomed, said his company’s undisclosed investment in the venture “underlines our belief in the long-term prospects of the healthcare market in Russia-CIS”.

The deal comes a day after Nycomed bagged Merck & Co as a co-marketing partner for its chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment Daxas (roflumilast) in Europe and Canada. The drug has just received a recommendation for approval from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use.
A couple of days ago, the Zurich-headquartered firm received some more good news after a jury in the USA ruled that the patent on its gastrointestinal drug Protonix (pantoprazole), sold over the pond by now Pfizer-owned Wyeth, was valid and had been infringed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.

The Israeli company has been selling a generic version of the drug since 2007 and though the court battle is not yet over, Nycomed could be in for a windfall as analysts believe Teva may have to pay out $1 billion in damages.

Given all this activity of late, observers believe that Nycomed may soon decide that the time is right for an initial public offering. The company has been plotting a listing for some time but has never set any timelines.