Enzon Pharmaceuticals sells Indy drug plant; 100 local jobs safe

An Indianapolis plant that manufactures specialty drugs has been sold by its parent company as part of a deal that could
be worth more than $300 million.

New Jersey-based Enzon Pharmaceuticals
Inc. said Friday that it closed the sale of its specialty pharmaceutical business
to the Italian-owned Sigma-Tau Group. The sale included the plant and several Enzon drugs produced at the facility.

The operations at 6925 Guion Road manufacture four drugs: Oncaspar, for leukemia;
DepoCyt, for meningitis; Abelcet, for fungal infection; and Adegen, for the “bubble boy
disease” immune disorder.

Enzon may be entitled to an additional $27 million based
on the achievement of certain milestones, in addition to royalties of up to 10 percent
on profit through 2014.

The plant employs about 100 workers, and the manufacturing
operations will remain in Indianapolis, Sigma Tau spokesman Marc Tewey said.

The plant and its products that treat
rare diseases are a "nice addition" to Sigma Tau, which focuses on orphan drugs, Tewey said.
Orphan drugs, as they’re known in the pharmaceutical industry, treat diseases that afflict fewer than
200,000 patients in the United States.

The plant also contracts with outside companies to manufacture
their drugs, and Tewey said Sigma Tau will attempt to expand that outside business. 

Enzon announced in August
2008 that it might sell the plant, or one or all of its products, as part of a strategic
review of its specialty pharmaceutical business.

Billionaire shareholder Carl Icahn has pressed
the company to unload assets or sell itself in order to increase value to shareholders.

Enzon stock has languished
near $10 a share since 2006. The shares opened Monday morning at $9.97.
 

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