Salix Pharmaceuticals reported strong third-quarter revenue late today as demand for the company’s best-selling drug Xifaxan continued to grow.
The Raleigh company also announced that it is adding two new products to its drug portfolio by acquiring privately-held Oceana Therapeutics for $300 million in cash.
The deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, is Salix’s second major acquisition in 2011. The company earlier acquired the rights to Relistor, a drug that treats constipation in patients taking pain medicines.
Salix, which focuses on drugs used to treat gastrointestinal ailments, is one of the few small drug companies based in the Triangle with actual products and revenue. The company has about 450 employees, including 200 in North Raleigh.
Salix has shown strong growth since early 2010 when it won regulatory approval to market Xifaxan to patients suffering from hepatic encephalopathy, a rare liver condition.. The drug is also approved for treatment of travelers’ diarrhea.
Salix reported revenue for the three-month period that ended Sept. 30 of $146.2 million, up 81 percent from the same period a year ago. That beat the consensus among Wall Street analysts who cover the company of $140 million.
Xifaxan revenues for the quarter were $96.7 million, up 48 percent from the same period a year ago.
Oceana is based in New Jersey but also has a presence in Europe. The company has about 40 employees, Salix CEO Carolyn Logan said on a conference call with analysts.
Oceana markets two products. Solesta, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, launched in September. It’s used to treat fecal incontinence. Salix believes peak sales of Solesta could exceed $500 million.
The other product, Deflux, is an FDA-approved alternative treatment for a malformation of the urinary bladder in children. Net sales for Deflux were $26 million through the first nine months of the year.
Salix also continues to hold out hope that it will win approval to market Xifaxan for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, which could mean $2.5 billion a year in new sales.
The FDA told Salix in March that its IBS application was not ready for approval. Salix officials met with the agency in June to discuss the ruling and an advisory committee of experts is now reviewing the data in the application. Salix officials are set to meet with the committee on Nov. 16.
Salix anticipates it could take about 24 months to complete a trial and secure FDA approval.
The company’s shares closed today up 98 cents at $34.65. The stock is down 26 percent this year.