Sweden's biggest public pharma company, Meda, has dismissed rumours of a takeover by India's Sun Pharma, saying "there are currently no such discussions."
Meda was moved to quash the Sun rumours after the Wall Street Journal carried an article - which was picked up by numerous other media outlets - suggesting the Indian firm was in talks to buy it for around $5 billion.
"Meda's policy is not to comment on speculation and will not do so in the future," said the specialty drugmaker in a statement. "This announcement is an exception to our policy."
Sun has been on an acquisitive streak of late, having bought Dusa Pharma and URL Pharma in the last quarter of 2012, and is one of a number of companies linked to the Swedish company. Others have included Canada's Valeant, which was rumoured to have made a $4bn bid for Meda in 2011.
Shortly after it issued the Sun statement, Meda announced an expansion of its collaboration with Cipla, another Indian drugmaker, which focuses on the development and commercialisation of hay fever treatment Dymista (azelastine and fluticasone).
Analysts have suggested that Dymista is one of the draws for parties interested in taking over Meda, as the product has already secured approval in the US and Europe and achieved a market share in excess of 5 per cent in the US branded allergy nasal spray category by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
Meda booked 63 million kroner ($10 million) from Dymista in the first three months of the year, of which 9 million kroner came from preliminary sales in Germany, the UK, Ireland and the Nordic Countries despite the product only launching in April.
The revised agreement with Cipla gives Meda "full coverage" for Dymista in Latin and South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, adding more than 120 new countries to its earlier rights.
The two companies will cooperate on product development of Dymista, with Cipla responsible for formulation, while Meda will handle clinical development, registration, marketing and sales.