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Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. (VRX - Analyst Report) recently announced that it has acquired rights to Targretin (bexarotene) capsules and Targretin (bexarotene) gel 1% in the US from Eisai, Inc., the pharmaceutical arm of Eisai Co., Ltd. in the US.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals paid $65 million upfront for these rights. The company will make further contingent payments based on certain milestones as and when achieved.

Under the terms of the agreement, Eisai transferred the New Drug Application (NDA) for Targretin to Valeant.  Henceforth, Valeant will be responsible for all regulatory obligations related to Targretin in the US.

However, Eisai retained its rights to Targretin outside the US and will continue to market the product internationally.

Targretin capsules are primarily used to treat skin problems caused by cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) when at least one systemic therapy has not worked.

Targretin gel is used for the topical treatment of skin lesions in patients with CTCL (stage IA and IB) when other therapies did not work or were not tolerated.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a Canada-based specialty pharmaceutical company, develops, manufactures and markets multiple pharmaceutical products primarily in the fields of dermatology, neurology and branded generics.

In order to bolster its product portfolio, Valeant Pharma acquired all of the outstanding common stock of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation for approximately $2.6 billion in Dec 2012.

The erstwhile Medicis Pharma focused on the development and marketing of products for the treatment of dermatological and aesthetic conditions in the US. The acquisition has further strengthened Valeant Pharma’s product portfolio in the dermatological field.

We note that acquisition activity has been quite strong in recent times in the dermatological segment. Apart from Valeant Pharma’s acquisition of Medicis Pharma, the acquisition of specialty dermatology generics company, Fougera Pharma by Novartis (NVS - Analyst Report) in Jul 2012, was also in the news.

Moreover, Allergan, Inc. (AGN - Analyst Report) acquired privately-held SkinMedica, Inc. in Dec 2012 with a focus on the latter’s topical aesthetics skin care business.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now, Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.(SLXP - Analyst Report) is better positioned with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).


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