Akorn Acquires U.S. Rights to Trio of Merck Eye Treatments

Generic drug purveyor Akorn (NASDAQ: AKRX  ) has expanded its portfolio of ophthalmic products thanks to a deal with Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) . The company announced it has acquired the U.S. rights to a trio of such treatments -- AzaSite, COSOPT, and COSOPT PF -- from the global drugmaker. The price is $52.8 million in cash.

All three products are eye drop solutions. AzaSite treats bacterial conjunctivitis, a type of infection, while COSOPT and COSOPT PF help lower pressure in the eye for patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Akorn said it aims to start shipping COSOPT and COSOPT PF immediately, and AzaSite in Q1 2014. 

In the press release announcing the news, the company said its purchase "is expected to elevate Akorn's reputation with prescribers and leverage Akorn's existing ophthalmic sales force and physician relationships." It expects that the deal to add $34 million to $38 million to its 2014 top line and roughly $0.09 to $0.11 per share of adjusted net income.

At the end of its most recently reported quarter, Akorn had $75.6 million in cash and short-term investments. Its long-term debt stood at $107.7 million.


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