Gala firm snaps up business for £230m

Galashiels-based drugs firm ProStrakan has underlined its ambitions to grow in the European market by buying cancer pain specialist Archimedes Pharma for £230m.

The Reading company’s largest product is a nasal spray used in the management of cancer pain. The firm has operations in the UK, France, Germany and Spain.

Archimedes is being sold to ProStrakan by a private company owned by Denmark’s Novo Nordisk Foundation.

ProStrakan, a subsidiary of Japanese pharmaceutical company Kyowa Hakko Kirin (KHK), said the transaction “significantly” expanded its presence in Europe.

Chief executive Dr Tom Stratford said: “The acquisition of Archimedes represents a rare opportunity to enhance the scale of our successful European operations by adding a strong portfolio of high-value medicines as well as further strengthening our teams in major European markets.

“Since joining KHK three years ago, ProStrakan has grown from strength to strength, culminating in the delivery of a positive profit contribution for the KHK group in 2013.

“The acquisition of Archimedes is a further step in KHK’s strategy of becoming a global specialty pharmaceutical company, as it significantly expands its presence in Europe.”

In 2013, Archimedes recorded revenues of £41m, up 33 per cent on the previous year, while ProStrakan generated revenues of £155m, 20 per cent up on 2012.

Commenting on the acquisition, Scott Johnston, chief executive of industry body The Scottish Lifesciences Association, said: “This is further evidence of Scotland’s ability to develop globally successful life sciences businesses and of the growing importance of this vibrant sector to the Scottish economy.

“The track record of Scottish life sciences companies developing and offering innovative products and therapies speaks for itself and we congratulate ProStrakan - and Archimedes - on this deal.”