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Nycomed and Amersham complete merger

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Contrast agent companies Nycomed and Amersham International announced on Oct. 22 that they have completed their merger, which was approved by shareholders of both firms at meetings this month. The new company will be known as Nycomed Amersham, with

Contrast agent companies Nycomed and Amersham International announced on Oct. 22 that they have completed their merger, which was approved by shareholders of both firms at meetings this month. The new company will be known as Nycomed Amersham, with offices in both Oslo, Norway, and Buckinghamshire, U.K.

In announcing the deal in July, Nycomed and Amersham claimed that the merger would make their combined company the largest contrast agent firm in the world, with annual revenues of $1.1 billion from imaging sales and total revenues of $2.48 billion (SCAN 7/9/97). The deal will also insulate both companies from ongoing price pressures in the contrast media business, and it will expand Nycomed Amersham's contrast product line to make it easier to secure pharmaceutical supply contracts to large buying groups.

In other Nycomed news, the company has signed a licensing agreement with Pharmacyclics of Sunnyvale, CA, for rights to lutetium texaphyrin (Lu-Tex), which Pharmacyclics is developing for the photodynamic treatment of cancer. Photodynamic therapy is based on synthetic molecules that are activated by light to treat cancer cells.

Nycomed Amersham will receive exclusive rights to Lu-Tex in Europe, Asia, and South and Central America. In return, Pharmacyclics will receive royalty payments and $14 million in licensing fees, milestone payments, and development cost subsidies for developing Lu-Tex for its initial indication, the treatment of external recurrent breast cancer and recurrent melanoma. Pharmacyclics could receive another $14 million if new indications are developed. Lu-Tex is in phase II clinical trials for breast cancer applications, and Pharmacyclics retains rights to the drug in the U.S., Canada, and Japan.

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