Valeant buys US rights to skin drug from Eisai

Valeant buys US rights to Eisai's Targretin, which treats symptoms of a type of skin cancer

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said Thursday it acquired the right to sell Eisai Co.'s skin drug Targretin in the U.S.

Targretin is a treatment for skin problems caused by cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, a type of slow-growing cancer that affects the skin and blood. It appears as skin patches or plaques, and Eisai said the symptoms are often mistaken for a rash, eczema, or psoriasis.

Valeant said it paid Eisai $65 million upfront and could make additional payments.

Targretin is used to treat the effects of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in patients who have not been helped by at least one other systemic therapy. The Food and Drug Administration approved a capsule form of the drug in 1999 and a gel form in 2000. Eisai said about 2,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with the disease every year.

Eisai, which is based in Japan, retains the rights to the drug outside the U.S.

Shares of Montreal-based Valeant lost $1.21 to $65.03 in midday trading.

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