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Sciele Pharma Expands Into Pain Market With Victory Pharma Buyout

Xconomy San Diego — 

Sciele Pharma, an Atlanta, GA, pharmaceutical company owned by Japan’s Shionogi & Co., says it is acquiring San Diego-based Victory Pharma for $150 million. Sciele specializes in the sales, marketing and development of branded drugs for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, women’s health, and pediatrics.

The acquisition adds Victory’s lead product, a once-daily sustained release formulation of the pain reliever naproxen sodium (Naprelan), to a Sciele drug portfolio that includes fexofenadine HCL (Allegra) for hayfever and nisoldipine (Sular) for hypertension.

The deal announced yesterday comes less than three months after Victory raised $45 million in a secondary venture round headed by Essex Woodlands Health Ventures of Palo Alto, CA. Victory, which also was backed byAmpersand Ventures of  Wellesley, MA, acquired its lead drug product in 2006, and has been developing its own drug candidates for managing pain as well as nausea and other side effects of pain drugs.

In a statement, Sciele’s president and chief operating officer, Ed Schutter, says, “The acquisition of Victory is another important step in the implementation of Sciele’s strategic plan to further diversify our product portfolio and generate additional growth for Sciele.” Sciele’s parent company has targeted the pain market as a therapeutic area, and Sciele says Shionogi plans to accelerate “development of its drug candidate for the alleviation of opioid-induced adverse effects” without clarifying if that means taking on Victory’s drug development.

Victory, which generated $57 million in sales last year, has 182 employees, including 120 sales representatives. The transaction is expected to close before June 30.