Abbott Laboratories’ $3.7 billion purchase of Kos Pharmaceuticals is

likely to close in the next few days after the firm announced that it had

acquired 91.4% of outstanding Kos shares after a tender offer expired.

Abbott noted that around 35 million shares were acquired and the remaining Kos shareholders will receive the same $78 cash price per share paid in the tender offer.

It is just over a month since Abbott made its bid for Kos in order to

strengthen its position in the cholesterol-modulating market. The latter’s

best-selling products are Niaspan (niacin) and Advicor (niacin plus

lovastatin), which raise HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. Abbott’s own

cholesterol-lowerer Tricor (fenofibrate) is still selling well, but is

facing a patent challenge from generic manufacturer Teva.

Hepatitis C deal with Exanta

Abbott also announced that it has signed a worldwide alliance with small

US firm Enanta Pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialise hepatitis C

virus NS3 and NS3/4A protease inhibitors.

Under the terms of the agreement, Enanta will receive an upfront payment

of $57 million, which includes a cash payment and an equity investment,

and if all clinical and regulatory milestones are met, up to $250 million

will find its way into the firm’s bank account.

Enanta will also receive double-digit royalties if any products make it to

market. Meanwhile, it also holds an option to fund 40% of development and sales and promotion costs in exchange for a 40% profit share in the USA on medicines from the alliance that get approval.