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Actavis Launches Generic of Shire's ADHD Drug Intuniv

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Actavis plc (ACT - Free Report) launched its generic version of Shire’s Intuniv (guanfacine hydrochloride) in the U.S. Actavis’ generic version was launched under its settlement agreement with Shire.

Intuniv is approved for the treatment of patients aged between 6 to 17 years suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). As per IMS Health data, as of Jun 2014, Intuniv’s annual sales were approximately $668 million in the U.S.

The generic Intuniv launch is an important one for the company – Actavis is entitled to 180-days exclusivity.

Actavis enjoys a strong position in the generic pharmaceutical market. Actavis’ North American Generics segment generated revenues of $3.0 billion in the first nine months of 2014 compared with $2.9 billion in the first nine months of 2013. On its third quarter conference call, the company stated that it has 228 abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) pending approval with the FDA – this includes 60 first-to-file applications.

Meanwhile, Actavis has been working on expanding its branded business. The company has been on an acquisition spree over the past several quarters. Recently concluded deals include the Durata acquisition (to boost its infectious disease portfolio), the Forest Labs acquisition (significantly boosted its branded products portfolio), the Furiex Pharmaceuticals acquisition (targeting the gastroenterology market), the Warner Chilcott acquisition (led to the shifting of domicile to Ireland along with the expansion of the branded products portfolio) and the Actavis Group acquisition (expanded presence significantly).

Last month, Actavis struck a deal valued at about $66 billion or $219 per share with Botox maker Allergan (AGN - Free Report) . The combined company will have three blockbuster franchises (ophthalmology, neurosciences/central nervous system and medical aesthetics/dermatology/plastic surgery) each with annual revenues of more than $3 billion.

The deal, which is slated to close in the second quarter of 2015, will boost Actavis’ branded segment significantly.

Actavis currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). A better-ranked stock in the health care sector is Akorn, Inc. (AKRX - Free Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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