Medivir deals generics biz amid HepC drug trials

Eyeing the prospects of its experimental hepatitis C drug, Swedish biotech Medivir ($MVIR) has sold off the generics unit of its subsidiary BioPhausia to Bluefish Pharmaceuticals. Medivir scooped up BioPhausia in June to tap the Nordic market in case its hepatitis C drug, TMC435, is approved.

Medivir offloaded BioPhausia's generics unit, called BMM Pharma, for SEK 26 million ($4.12 million) along with inventories valued at SEK 12 million (or $1.9 million), Genetic Engineering News reports. The transaction comes as Medivir and its partner, Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Tibotec, move full steam in late-stage development of TMC435, which is the top candidate in Medivir's R&D pipeline, according to a release. The company's first product, a cold sore treatment called Xerese, was launched in the U.S. in February.

"This deal is a natural last step in the concentration and focus of BioPhausia's business, which began about a year ago. We will now be focusing on the ongoing commercial development of our proprietary products and parallel imported Products," said Maris Hartmanis, CEO of BioPhausia.

Clearly, Medivir is keeping focused on ushering TMC435, a protease inhibitor, through trials and to potential regulatory approvals for hepatitis C. With the white-hot market for drugs against the liver disease nowadays, that's not a bad bet.

- here's the Medivir release
- see the coverage in Genetic Engineering News