April 16 (Reuters) - Indian drugmaker Piramal Healthcare has agreed to buy a research and development portfolio from Bayer AG, the company said, in a deal that gives Piramal rights to florbetaben, a possible Alzheimer treatment.
Florbetaben, which is in the final stages of clinical trials, works by detecting symptoms in probable sufferers of Alzheimer's, and is expected to allow earlier detection and specific treatment of the disease, Piramal said in a statement.
Florbetaben is racing with similar Alzheimer's imaging agents from global pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Co, Pfizer Inc and General Electric Co to enter a global market estimated at anywhere from $1 billion to $5 billion.
Piramal will acquire intellectual property, worldwide development, marketing and distribution rights of florbetaben and other clinical and pre-clinical assets of Bayer's molecular imaging business in the deal. Financial aspects of the deal were not available.
"We plan to build a promising portfolio in the pharma space, including our newly acquired molecular imaging assets, which will help us create a global branded pharma business," Ajay Piramal, chairman of the Piramal Group, was quoted as saying.
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