EU approves creation of pharmaceutical giant

The European Commission has authorised the acquisition of Pharmacia by Pfizer in a deal that will see the creation of the largest pharmaceutical company in the world.

The approval follows an investigation into a number of treatment areas both in human pharmaceuticals and in animal healthcare, where the transaction raised doubts as to the compatibility with the common market.

In reaction to the serious doubts raised by the Commission, the parties offered commitments to alleviate competition concerns. Consequently, Pfizer and Pharmacia have agreed to divest Ketensin, an antihypertensive marketed in the Netherlands, and Parkemoxin, an animal antibiotic marketed in Germany. Combined annual sales for these products are approximately $2.5 million.

In addition, the companies also agreed to divest three compounds in development. These include darifenacin for overactive bladder, apomorphine nasal spray for erectile dysfunction, and PNU-142774E, also for erectile dysfunction.

Separately, Pfizer said it is pleased with the progress it is making with the US Federal Trade Commission, and the company continues to work toward closing the acquisition by the end of the first quarter.