Waterford-based EirGen Pharma acquired by US drugs firm OPKO for US$135m

6 May 2015

Waterford pharmaceutical company EirGen has been acquired by US drugs company OPKO for US$135m in cash and shares.

EirGen employs 100 people in Waterford and manufactures drugs for cancer chemotherapy.

Miami-based OPKO, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is to pay US$100m in cash and US$35m in shares for EirGen.

The company was founded by Tom Brennan and Patsy Carney, former executives of IVAX Pharmaceuticals, 10 years ago.

Manufacturing and R&D

EirGen operates a high containment R&D and manufacturing facility and is approved by the FDA, EMEA (European Health Authorities) and the PMDA (Japanese Health Authorities).

High-potency drugs such as those used for cancer chemotherapy are typically unsuitable for manufacture in normal multi-product facilities due to cross-contamination risks.

“EirGen Pharma is one of the leading developers and suppliers of high-potency niche pharmaceutical products in the world,” said Phillip Frost M.D, OPKO’s chairman and CEO.

“As FineTech, OPKO’s Israeli active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing subsidiary, is also focused on high-potency drugs, an immediate business synergy is expected.

“EirGen also offers the significant benefit of potentially being able to manufacture OPKO’s current and future products in our own facilities, which we expect will result in even higher gross margins. The superb management, research and development, manufacturing and product distribution teams, along with state-of-the-art facilities, together, will create an important, tax-efficient base of operations for OPKO,” said Dr Frost.

Drugs image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years