FDA approves Actavis, Valeant drugs for irritable bowel syndrome

Wed May 27, 2015 5:02pm EDT
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WASHINGTON May 27 (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators approved new irritable bowel syndrome drugs from Actavis Plc and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc on Wednesday, validating big investments both companies made to acquire the products.

The Food and Drug Administration approved eluxadoline, to be sold under the brand name Viberzi, which Actavis obtained with its $1.1 billion acquisition last year of Furiex Pharmaceuticals.

The agency also approved Valeant's Xifaxan, also known as rifaximin, which the company acquired with its $11 billion purchase earlier this year of Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Both drugs are designed to treat diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, a condition that affects about 28 million people in the United States and Europe and can cause abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea. (Reporting by Toni Clarke; Editing by Sandra Maler)