Teva Pharmaceutical Industries' $6.80 billion acquisition of Cephalon is a done deal now that antitrust regulators in Europe have given the green light to the transaction.
The European Commission has approved the deal but told Teva that it has to divest Cephalon's marketing authorisation in France of a generic version of its sleep disorder blockbuster Provigil (modafinil). The Israeli drugmaker also has to grant the purchaser of the authorisation "certain additional rights with respect to the entire European Economic Area, including a covenant not to sue effective as of October 2012".
The EC said the divestment "will allow a competitor to emerge and compete effectively with the merged entity", adding that its investigation "did not reveal any other significant modification to the competitive situation and dynamics of other relevant markets". The Commission concluded by saying that "a number of credible and significant competitors will continue to exercise a competitive constraint" on the enlarged Teva, hence the approval.
The European approval comes a few days after the US Federal Trade Commission approved the merger but also insisted on a deal concerning generic modafinil and told Teva to divest the rights and assets related to copycat versions of the cancer pain drug Actiq (fentanyl) and the muscle relaxant Amrix (extended-release cyclobenzaprine) to rival company Par Pharmaceuticals.