October 5, 2011 4:19 am

Labopharm shareholders approve $20.5 million acquisition by Paladin Labs

Drug developer Labopharm Inc's head office is seen here in Laval, Que. on March 22, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

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LAVAL, Que. – Labopharm shareholders have approved a friendly takeover of the pharmaceutical company by Paladin Labs Inc. in a deal valued at just under $20.5 million.

At a special meeting, more than 73 per cent of votes cast were in favour of the plan of arrangement to sell all outstanding shares to Chimigen Inc. for 28.57 cents per share.

The Quebec Superior Court is expected to approve the transaction on Thursday.

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Montreal-based Paladin Labs (TSX:PLB) recently dropped its hostile takeover attempt for the maker of the Cold-FX flu remedy.

The decision clears the way for Afexa Life Sciences (TSX:FXA) to be purchased in a friendly $88-million takeover of the Edmonton company by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (TSX:VRX) of Mississauga, Ont.

In a separate announcement Wednesday, Labopharm (TSX:DDS) said it and Gruppo Angelini have restructured their drug-commercialization partnership.

Angelini will gain the exclusive licence and rights to commercialize the antidepressant Oleptro in the United States, Canada and other countries.

In return, Labopharm will receive a royalty on product sales.

Under its new partnership agreement with Angelini, Labopharm will receive a five per cent royalty on sales of Oleptro in Canada and other countries where the drug has received regulatory approval

In the United States, the five per cent royalty will be paid on Oleptro sales above US$10 million in a calendar quarter.

Oleptro is a once-daily form of the antidepressant trazodone.

In connection with the new partnership agreement, Angelini has acquired Labopharm’s half interest in the joint venture Angelini Labopharm, LLC.

Labopharm produces the antidepressant Oleptro and pain reliever Tramadol and Tramadol-acetaminophen.

Montreal-based Paladin is focused on researching, developing, acquiring or in-licensing pharmaceutical products for the Canadian and world markets.

Labopharm stock was unchanged at 28.5 cents in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while Paladin shares gained 24 cents to $36.74.

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