Elan Corp is set for a windfall after selling a major part of its stake in fellow Ireland-headquartered firm Alkermes.

Last September, Alkermes finalised its purchase of Elan Drug Technology in a cash and stock transaction, valued at $960 million, saw Elan receive $500 million in cash and nearly 32 million shares, or a 25% stake in the newly-created Alkermes business. Now it has decided to cash in some of the stock, almost 24.2 million shares.

That corresponds to 76% of Elan's shareholding, bringing in proceeds of around $381 million. The company is keeping hold of almost 7.8 million shares, equating to a stake in Alkermes of just under 6%.

Elan says that the funds will be used to further strengthen its cash balances and capital structure. Alkermes did not receive any proceeds from the offering.

File for Megestrol Alkermes pulled in Europe

Staying with Alkermes, and the European Medicines Agency reports that the company has decided to withdraw its application for a centralised marketing authorisation for Megestrol Alkermes (megestrol), 125 mg/ml oral suspension.

Megestrol Alkermes was intended to be used for the treatment of anorexia, cachexia or an unexplained significant weight loss in adult AIDS and oncology patients. However, the company has told the EMA that it has pulled the file "as a consequence of portfolio prioritisation".