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Valeant Pharmaceuticals acquires Medicis, becomes Botox’s biggest rival

Medicis’s Dysport is marketed as an alternative to Botox. Some studies have shown the treatment has a faster onset than its rival. Canada’s largest pharma, Valeant (TSX:VRX), today announced it had entered into a definitive agreement under which it will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Medicis (NYSE:MRX) for $44 a share in cash.

Scottsdale-based Medicis, which was founded in 1988, posted $721-million in revenue in fiscal 2011, mostly by selling dermatology related products such as Solodyn and Ziana for treating acne, and Restylane and Dysport for treating facial wrinkles.

Valeant’s CEO J. Michael Pearson said, “The acquisition of Medicis represents a significant next step in our journey to become the leader in dermatology by strengthening Valeant’s presence in acne, actinic keratosis, aesthetic injectables and anti-virals, among others. Medicis’ highly complementary portfolio of leading branded products and promising pipeline is a solid strategic fit, and we look forward to leveraging Medicis’s well known and respected name in dermatology to drive long-term growth.”


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The pickup of Medicis instantly makes Valeant the owner of the largest competitor to Botox. Medicis’s Dysport is, like Botox, a therapeutic formulation of the type A toxin. Botox accounted for $461.2 million of owner Allergan’s sales in the second quarter of 2012. Sales of Medicis’s non-acne product sales, including Dysport and Restylane, helped the company make up for a 24% slide in sales of its non-acne products in its Q2, which the company reported last week.

Medicis came to public attention last summer when its CEO, Jonah Shacknai, lost his six year old son after an accident at the family’s summer home near San Diego. Then, two days later, Two days after the boy’s fall, Shacknai’s 32-year-old girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, was found dead. Her death was ruled a suicide.

NBC San Diego is reporting that Shacknai’s future with Valeant is uncertain.

Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals on the TSx closed Friday down .67% to $50.47.



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About The Author /

Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.
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