Athlone Elan facility not for sale

Pharmaceutical company Elan has put plans to shed its Athlone division on hold, in spite of indications earlier this year that it was planning to separate the Athlone-based Elan Drug Technologies (EDT ) from the rest of the company.

In a statement this week, Elan said it would “not start a process to pursue a separation of the EDT business at this time”, saying that market conditions are not currently conducive to an appropriate valuation of the business.

The company said it is pleased with the strong performance of its Athlone division, particularly with the launch of multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra, which it says has “significant potential”. Elan is also known for the success of Tysabri, another drug used to treat multiple sclerosis.

This week’s announcement flies in the face of long-identified plans to change the ownership status of EDT, either through selling it off or floating it on the stock exchange, in a bid to generate capital.

However, Elan says it will continue to focus on growing the EDT business in terms of revenues, profits, and cash flow.

“Through advancement and expansion of its extensive clinical pipeline and technology offerings, Elan is committed to consolidating its position as the world’s leading drug delivery business,” it said.

Elan said this week it expects to clear up to $500 million in outstanding debt, due to mature in November 2011 and November 2013. The move would reduce Elan’s debt by approximately 20 per cent to approximately $1.24 billion.

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