Galen: European Specialist in US Markets
In buying rights to market Lilly's Sarafem, Galen figures it can compete with Pfizer and GSK by detailing where they don't--Ob/Gyns. And in growing its valuation, Galen aims to compete with other public European small pharmas by focusing on the US.
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After this summer's failed merger talks between the two companies, Galen's three-pronged deal with US-based generics play Barr Laboratories might be the next best thing for Galen investors. At little cost, the deal removes much of the risk associated with the Northern-Irish company's legal battles. And even though agreements between branded players and their generics competitors often raise eyebrows at antitrust authorities, this deal's structure and focus on the heavily genericized oral contraceptives market may get it past the regulators.
Galen's $359 million acquisition of Pfizer's women's health portfolio fits in well with the group's strategy to date. But the structure of the deal also highlights Galen's increasing exposure to generic competition.
Executives from three biotechnology companies--Biogen, Gilead and Pharmion-told attendees at Windhover's 2d annual Marketing Pharmaceutical Innovation conference how the stark partnering/go-it-alone choices biotechs used to face (launch on your own, with a multinational, or in a network of local drug firms) are becoming far more nuanced as the partnering infrastructure available to the newer generation of start-ups expands to meet the broader opportunities.