Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., the drug maker that changed its name from ICN Pharmaceuticals last year, agreed to acquire Amarin Corp.'s U.S. operations for as much as $56 million to expand its line of neurology drugs.
The purchase would give Valeant the rights to the Parkinson's disease drug Permax and to Zelapar, another Parkinson's treatment being developed by Elan Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc.'s RP Scherer unit.
Chief Executive Robert O'Leary has been reorganizing Valeant to focus on developing medicines. The company's best-selling drug, the hepatitis treatment Rebetol, may face generic competition.
Valeant would pay $38 million upfront, the Costa Mesa-based company said. It would pay an additional $5 million when studies on Zelapar are completed and $3 million more if the drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.