Valeant to buy orphan drug developer Aton for $318M

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is continuing an aggressive buying spree, announcing this morning that it has sealed a deal to buy orphan drugmaker Aton Pharma for $318 million. Aton sells as well as develops therapies for orphan diseases and is expected to reap $80 million to $100 million in revenue for this year.

"The acquisition of Aton fits into our long-term strategy to pursue diversified opportunities within the pharmaceutical market and offers us another platform for future growth," said J. Michael Pearson, chairman and CEO. "With a business that has historically grown over 30 percent on an annual basis, and operating margins around 35 percent, along with a solid pipeline of niche products under development, we now have significantly strengthened our neuro and other business which we expect to drive significant value for shareholders."

Lawrenceville, NJ-based Aton develops drugs for ophthalmology and other conditions. Valeant announced five days ago that it is buying Canada's Vital Science Corp. The company bought two Brazilian pharma companies in April and struck a commercial collaboration deal with Spear Pharmaceuticals for a wrinkle treatment at the beginning of March.

Valeant also announced that its Q1 earnings jumped 15 percent in the first quarter. Income from continuing operations was $35.6 million. 

- check out Valeant's release on the buyout and Q1 numbers
- here's the story from Reuters