Faes Farma Said to Be Near Japan Agreement to Sell Bilastine

Faes Farma SA (FAE), the Spanish pharmaceutical company whose stock has sunk about 59 percent in the past year, is close to signing a deal with a Japanese drugmaker to market the allergy treatment bilastine, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Negotiations to license bilastine in Japan have been going on for months and the talks have sped up in the last few weeks, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is confidential. A deal would boost Faes’s earnings, because Japan is one of the biggest markets for allergy medicines, the person said.

Faes rose 1.6 percent to 1.30 euros at the 5:30 p.m. close in Madrid today, giving the company a market value of 253.6 million euros ($345.1 million).

“The potential deal in Japan has a huge relevance for Faes Farma as we are talking about a very big market for allergy treatments,” Francisco Jose Rodriguez, a Madrid-based analyst at Banco Sabadell SA, said by telephone today. “The stock has been battered and any positive news flow about bilastine is key for the company’s future because it will be a boost for sales.”

Faes has sold bilastine in Spain since April under the brand Bilaxten and it had a 9.5 percent market share in June, the Leioa-based company said in a July statement. The drugmaker expects to sell bilastine in at least France, Italy and Portugal during the fourth quarter after it reaches agreements on prices.

First-half net income fell 18 percent to 10.4 million euros, the company said in July. Margins were hurt by discounts imposed by the Spanish and Portuguese governments in 2010 and because the company began selling new products.

Faes would have posted profit growth without government austerity measures, the company said. Prices were cut by 7.5 percent in Spain and by 6 percent in Portugal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Madrid at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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