Sawai Pharmaceutical to acquire generic pharma business of Upsher-Smith

Japanese pharma company Sawai Pharmaceutical will acquire American generic drug maker Upsher‐Smith Laboratories’s generic pharma business for nearly $1.05bn from Acova.

The generic drug portfolio of Upsher-Smith’s portfolio features over 30 pharma products which are primarily oral solid preparations.

The transaction marks the first overseas acquisition for Sawai Pharmaceutical as per a report in the Reuters. It will help Sawai to develop a business in the US along with leveraging on the combined R&D capabilities through the manufacturing base and distribution network of Upsher-Smith.

Upsher-Smith manufactures an array of generic and branded medications for distribution to pharmacies, healthcare organizations, wholesalers and retailers.

Mark Evenstad, the CEO of Upsher-Smith said: “Upsher-Smith has developed and delivered crucial therapies to patients, from infants to the elderly, with a broad array of on-market generic pharmaceuticals.

“We have also built a pipeline that will enable even more patients to get life-changing therapies over the next several years.”

Sawai Pharmaceutical headquarters

Sawai Pharmaceutical headquarters in Osaka, Japan. Photo courtesy of Ogiyoshisan/

The current president of Upsher-Smith, Rusty Field will continue in his role to head the company, while the company’s non-generic pharmaceuticals businesses will remain unaffected by the deal and will be operated under Acova as it was previously.

Sawai Pharmaceutical’s acquisition of Upsher-Smith’s generic pharmaceuticals business is likely to be completed by June end depending on customary regulatory approvals.

Mitsuo Sawai, President of Sawai Pharmaceutical said: “We look forward to working closely with Rusty and the talented management team to forge a new global chapter in Upsher-Smith’s future together.

“Most importantly, we are committed to the entire team at Upsher-Smith, and to expanding the opportunities for the U.S. workforce at Upsher-Smith.”

Sawai Pharmaceutical, which is based in Osaka, manufactures close to 700 ethical pharmaceutical products. These include cardiovascular drugs, diabetes drugs, anticancer drugs, antihyperlipidemic agents and OTC drugs.

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