Watson Pharmaceuticals has completed the acquisition of Belgium-based Uteron Pharma SA for $150 million in cash, and as much as $155 million in potential future milestone payments. The acquisition expands Watson's pipeline of women's health products, including two potential commercial opportunities in contraception and infertility, and one oral contraceptive projected to launch globally in 2018. The acquisition also includes several products in earlier stages of development.
"This is a strategic acquisition of a solid pipeline, sound development expertise, and sufficient manufacturing capacity to generate value for shareholders within the next two years, and provide the potential of multiple global product introductions through the latter half of the decade," said Fred Wilkinson, president of Watson Global Brands and Biosimilars. "We have structured the financials of the acquisition to reflect the immediate value of the late stage pipeline, with approximately $45 million in near-term milestones and appropriately balancing the development risks and investments required to commercialize these assets, when compared to the longer-term opportunities.
Uteron's executive team including co-chief executive officer and co-founder Stijn Van Rompay, and chief scientific officer and co-founder professor Jean-Michel Foidart, will continue to manage Uteron, which will become a key part of Watson’s R&D activities for its expanded women's health business.
"We believe this transaction provides excellent value for our shareholders and validates the potential of Uteron Pharma's strong product pipeline, which is a result of great dedication and hard work of our extremely talented employee partners. We are pleased that Watson has committed to long term development of our product portfolio in the Walloon region and the continued collaboration with the University of Liege," said Francois Fornieri, co-chief executive officer of Uteron Pharma.