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Sun gets US trade regulator nod for Ranbaxy merger

Sun Pharma has got a conditional nod from the American federal trade regulator for its proposed $ 4 billion merger with Ranbaxy. 

US FTC (Federal Trade Regulator) has asked Ranbaxy to divest its interest in a generic antibacterial medicine (Minocycline tablets) to Torrent Pharma of Gujarat. 

Generic minocycline tablets are used to treat a wide array of bacterial infections, including pneumonia, acne, and urinary tract infections.

According to the FTC’s complaint, the proposed merger would likely harm future competition by reducing the number of suppliers in the US markets for three dosage strengths (50 mg, 75 mg, and 100 mg) of generic minocycline tablets.

Ranbaxy is currently one of three suppliers of the products, while Sun is one of only a limited number of firms likely to sell generic minocycline tablets in the United States in the near future.

“Sun is one of a limited number of firms that has minocycline tablets in development and an ANDA under review by the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Therefore, the acquisition would likely increase concentration in the relevant markets substantially by reducing the number of future suppliers of minocycline tablets,” FTC has said in its order.

As per the order from FTC, Sun and Ranbaxy must sell Ranbaxy’s generic minocycline capsule assets to Torrent, to enable Torrent to achieve regulatory approval for a change in ingredient suppliers for its minocycline tablets as quickly as Ranbaxy would have been able to do in the absence of the deal. 

Also, Sun and Ranbaxy must supply generic minocycline tablets and capsules to Torrent until the company establishes its own manufacturing infrastructure. 

The CCI in India has asked Sun and Ranbaxy to divest seven drug assets as well. The process is underway, it is learnt.

Post the merger, the combined entity will have annual sales worth $ 4.3 billion, making it the fifth-largest generic drug maker globally. 

Now a key nod from the High Court of Punjab and Haryana is awaited on the Sun-Ranbaxy merger. 

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