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Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that it gained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its generic version of Ferring Pharmaceuticals' Lysteda (tranexamic acid) tablet. The company intends to launch the product soon.

Lysteda tablet is approved for the treatment of cyclic heavy menstrual bleeding. According to IMS Health, Lysteda generated US revenues of approximately $25 million for the 12 months ending November 30, 2012.

Ferring has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Watson Pharma regarding Lysteda - these litigations are still pending.

FDA approval for Lysteda comes a few days after Watson Pharma announced that it is seeking FDA approval for its generic version of Millennium Pharma’s Velcade (bortezomib). Millennium Pharma is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharma (TKPYY). The abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) was filed by Actavis, Inc. Actavis was acquired by Watson Pharma in October 2012.

Our Recommendation

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Watson Pharma, which carries a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold). We are positive on the Actavis acquisition, which will be immediately accretive to earnings. With the Actavis acquisition, Watson Pharma has become the third largest generic pharmaceutical company in the world. The company expects to generate annual cost (SG&A, R&D, corporate, purchasing and raw material supply) synergy savings of $300 million within three years.

Watson Pharma also announced its intention to adopt a new global name Actavis from 2013. The company will start trading under a new symbol on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013.

Currently, pharma companies like Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (VRX - Analyst Report) and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (IRWD - Analyst Report) carry a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).
 

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