Pfizer is ready go ahead with its $17 billion purchase of Hospira after receiving its final regulatory approvals from the US and Brazil.
The US Federal Trade Commission’s clearance is subject to Pfizer divesting four of its sterile injectable drugs – antibiotic clindamycin, antifungal agent voriconazole, chemotherapy drug melphalan, and acetylcysteine, which is used to prevent liver damage after paracetamol overdose.
“We are pleased to have received these final regulatory approvals for our pending acquisition of Hospira,” says Ian Read, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer. “We now look forward to combining our two companies and expect the transaction to close in early September.”
Meanwhile, Brazil’s Superintendency-General of CADE has cleared the deal with no conditions.
The merger received approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the European Commission (EC) in early August. The European approval was granted under the condition that Pfizer divests various sterile injectable drugs as well as its biosimilar version of Johnson & Johnson’s arthritis drug Remicade (infliximab) – which the EC was worried would cease development under the merger.
Pfizer is hoping that the deal will make it a leading player in the fast-growing biosimilar market, and is also looking to significantly expand the reach of Hospira’s products – which are currently distributed mainly in the USA – to Europe and key emerging markets.