Watson buys Eden Biodesign

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

US generics group Watson Pharmaceuticals has bought UK contract biomanufacturing specialist Eden Biodesign.

The deal, worth some $15m (€10.7m), sees New Jersey- headquartered Watson take control of Eden’s dedicated biologics production plant in Liverpool as well as its contract development and manufacturing business.

Watson first gained a 36 per cent share of Eden in December when it took over fellow generics firm Arrow Group. At the time Watson said that the Liverpool manufacturer provided a “long-term foundation for biosimilars​.”

This point was reiterated by Watson CEO Paul Bisaro who said that: "Completing the acquisition of Eden is the next strategic step in our commitment to establishing a major position in biologic products on a global basis."

"In addition to development and manufacturing facilities, the Eden acquisition adds substantial intellectual capital to Watson's biologics activities, as Dr. Crawford Brown and the Eden management team will remain with Watson​.”

The acquisition clearly indicates that Watson thinks biosimilars will be an important sector for it going forward, which is an idea that fits with a recent study​ by Markets and Markets which predicted that such drugs would generate $19.4bn a year by 2014.

The manufacturing capacity and expertise that Eden brings with it removes one of the key barriers to entry in the biogenerics sector, namely that the production of biologics is more complicated than traditional small-molecule therapies.

This point was stressed by Crawford Brown, Eden Biodesign CEO, who said his firm is “delighted to become part of Watson Pharmaceuticals and excited by the prospect of accelerating their biologic development strategies.​”

Our passion and commitment to serving our customers remains undiminished and I firmly believe that the resources and market expertise now available to us will prove to be of tremendous benefit to Eden Biodesign’s current and future client base​.”

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