Abbott buys cholesterol drugmaker

abbott Moving further into the cholesterol management market, Abbott Laboratories said this morning it will buy a New Jersey drugmaker for $3.7 billion in cash, or $78 a share.

Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc. of Cranbury, N.J. is a pharmaceutical company developing and marketing various drugs to treat 'chronic cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory diseases,' in a growing $20 billion lipid management market, Abbott said in a statement this morning.

'Kos Pharmaceuticals is an excellent strategic fit for Abbott, both scientifically and commercially,' said Abbott chairman and chief executive Miles White. 'This acquisition expands Abbott's presence in the lipid management market and will provide several on-market and late-stage pipeline products. Kos also complements our existing commercial and research and development expertise, and increases our R&D spending capacity.'

Kos is a relatively young company, founded in 1988. Kos said it has a specialty in HDL therapy, which works to raise 'good' cholesterol levels. Kos sells Niaspan, which raises good cholesterol and generated more than $400 million in annual sales last year.

Abbott, based in North Chicago, already sells the $1 billion blockbuster drug Tricor, which reduces triglycerides, which is kind of fat in the blood system. The companies did not release an expected closing of the deal.