Although it lost the contest, Medicis ( MRX) has come away with a potentially attractive parting gift. The Scottsdale, Ariz., dermatology products company has acquired the rights to an experimental Botox-like drug from French drugmaker Ipsen, giving Medicis another chance to expand its cosmetic skin-care operations. The news, announced Monday evening, prompted shares of Medicis to jump $3.21, or 11%, to $32.34 in early trading Tuesday. The deal with Ipsen for the drug Reloxin will provide competition for Botox-maker Allergan ( AGN), which outbid Medicis to acquire Inamed ( IMDC), a maker of dermatology products and breast implants.
Medicis coveted Inamed primarily because Inamed had the licensing rights to Reloxin, which is still in clinical trials. When Allergan won the battle for Inamed, the Federal Trade Commission said it had to relinquish its rights to Reloxin. The rights reverted to Ipsen, which then signed a deal with Medicis to develop Reloxin in the U.S., Canada and Japan. The drug's brand name outside these markets is Dysport. Medicis declined to provide details about the Reloxin transaction, saying it would wait until Allergan officially acquires Inamed. Allergan's tender offer has been extended several times during the last few months. The next and final deadline is March 17.