Bayer to Sell Prescription Dermatology Unit

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Denmark-headquartered pharmaceutical company LEO Pharma is set to acquire Bayer’s prescription treatment portfolio.

On July 31, 2018, Bayer and LEO Pharma, a Ballerup, Denmark-headquartered pharmaceutical company specializing in dermatology, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement in which LEO Pharma will buy Bayer’s prescription dermatology unit. The acquisition will boost LEO Leo Pharma’s position in key markets and expand its therapeutic presence with Bayer’s branded topical prescription treatments for acne, fungal skin infections and rosacea, and a range of topical steroids with an annual turnover in 2017 of more than EUR 280 million (US$325 million). 

The acquisition is expected to close in two steps: during 2018 for the United States, and during the second half of 2019 for all other markets. Transaction completion is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including approval by the competition authorities. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.


LEO Pharma will acquire global product rights, except for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and take over the sales and marketing organizations in 14 countries as well as a factory in Segrate, Italy. Approximately 450 people will join LEO Pharma as part of this transaction.

Bayer’s global medical dermatology portfolio, which includes Skinoren (azelaic acid) for acne, Travogen (isoconazole nitrate) and Travocort (diflucortolone valerate and isoconazole nitrate) for fungal skin infections, Finacea (azelaic acid) for rosacea, and a range of topical steroids such as Advantan (methylprednisolone aceponate), Nerisona (diflucortolone valerate), and Desonate (desonide), will add complementary treatment areas and strengthen the existing business of Leo Pharma, according to Bayer. The transaction does not include Bayer’s over-the-counter dermatology portfolio of brands.

“We are very excited about this agreement. With the strong prescription dermatology brands and the new colleagues from Bayer, LEO Pharma advances significantly towards our goal of helping 125 million patients by 2025. We will broaden our treatment range and considerably enhance our size in key markets around the world-underlining our ambition to be a preferred partner in medical dermatology,” said Gitte P. Aabo, president and CEO of Leo Pharma, in a company press release.

“We are very pleased to have found a good partner in Leo Pharma, who has a long history as a leader in scientific advancement and a culture that values discovery and innovation,“ said Heiko Schipper, member of Bayer’s board of management and president of Consumer Health, in the release. “With the dedicated support of many employees to whom we are grateful, our prescription dermatology business has grown well since becoming part of Bayer in 2006. Moving forward, we believe that LEO Pharma is the right owner to grow and further develop the prescription dermatology business while enabling us to focus on building our core over-the counter brands”. 

Source: Bayer