Teva receives EC approval for Cephalon purchase


After divesting rights to a generic version of Cephalon’s Provigil

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has received approval from the European Commission (EC) for its US$6.8bn acquisition of US-based Cephalon.

The Israeli generic drugs manufacturer first had to agree to divest the rights to sell a generic version of Cephalon’s sleeping disorder drug Provigil (modafinil) in France.

The EC said the divestment would ‘allow a competitor to emerge and compete effectively with the merged entity’ and added that its investigation ‘did not reveal any other significant modification to the competitive situation and dynamics of other relevant markets’.

The EC said a number of ‘credible and significant competitors’ would continue to exercise a competitive constraint on the merged business, and therefore approved the acquisition.

The US Federal Trade Commission approved the deal on 7 October after requiring Teva to sell the rights and assets related to a generic cancer pain drug Actiq (fentanyl) and a generic muscle relaxant Flexeril (extended release cyclobenzaprine hydrochloride) to Par Pharmaceuticals.

With this approval, Teva and Cephalon have now obtained all regulatory approvals required to close the transaction and have scheduled a closing date of today (14 October).