July 16, 2012 / 5:03 PM / 5 years ago

Novartis gets U.S. approval to buy Fougera

* Novartis must give up rights to three medicinal creams

* Fougera will be folded into Sandoz generics unit

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis has won U.S. antitrust approval to close its purchase of generic dermatology products maker Fougera.

The Federal Trade Commission said on Monday that as a condition of approval, Novartis agreed to give up the rights to market three topical skin care medicines made by Tolmar Inc and to cancel a deal for a fourth.

Novartis said in May that it would buy Fougera for $1.53 billion from a consortium of private equity funds led by Nordic Capital, DLJ Merchant Banking and Avista Capital Partners.

The three generic creams that Novartis must give up marketing rights to are a topical solution to treat psoriasis, a local anesthetic, and a cream to treat rosacea, which causes chronically red skin, the FTC said.

In addition to generic dermatology products, Fougera also has a branded specialty pharmaceuticals business. It had 2011 sales of $429 million.

Fougera, based in Melville, New York, will be folded into Novartis' Sandoz generics unit.

A spokeswoman for Novartis was not immediately available to comment on Monday.

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