St. Louis Pharma Firm Acquires Local Coatings Company

Two St. Louis life sciences companies have teamed up to create a pharmaceutical firm with enhanced drug-delivery capabilities for both generic and branded drugs.

KV Pharmaceutical Company has acquired all technologies, assets and related intellectual property of privately held Particle and Coating Technologies. Among other things, PCT’s arsenal includes particle coatings; controlled-release, buccal-release and fast-dissolving tablets; taste-masking and inhalable-particle-delivery technologies. KV Pharmaceutical plans to use these technologies to develop new drugs and enhance existing ones.

“We believe that PCT will advance the depth and breadth of KV’s already formidable drug delivery expertise, as well as provide immediate benefit to multiple product opportunities currently under development at KV,” said KV CEO Mark Hermelin, in a statement.

PCT’s director of technology, Robert Sparks, agreed, “This transaction ultimately enables our technologies to more efficiently find their way into more products, faster.”

KV Pharmaceutical makes generics through its ETHEX subsidiary, and branded drugs through Ther-Rx. (Its third subsidiary, Particle Dynamics, develops specialty raw-material product lines for the pharmaceutical, nutritional, food and personal-care industries.)

In May, the company made a move to bolster its branded business, when it bought EvaMist, an estradiol transdermal spray for treating menopause symptoms. In addition to an upfront payment of $10 million, KV will pay the manufacturer, Vivus, $140 million when the spray gets FDA approved (expected in late 2007 or early 2008). There are also two milestone payments tied to sales of the product: $10 million if EvaMist achieves $100 million in net sales in a market year, and up to $20 million if the product reaches $200 million.

EvaMist targets an annual $1.3 billion estrogen replacement market. KV expects the product’s U.S. market potential to reach $125 million.

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