Fisons unveils deals in bid battle defence

Fisons unveils deals in bid battle defence

Fisons announced three drug development and marketing deals yesterday in the last major plank of its defence to the pounds 1.7bn bid from Rhone-Poulenc Rorer. The group is linking with Ciba-Geigy to develop a new inhaled anti- asthma treatment, Magainin Pharmaceuticals of the US for a cystic fibrosis antibiotic and 3M to co-promote a new "green" aerosol inhaler. Fisons also forecast profits of pounds 100m this year from the pharmaceuticals division, after pounds 18m of non-recurring r&d spending, and a final dividend of 3p to make a total of 5p. RPR dismissed the news, saying the deals would not do much for Fisons' earnings or sales before the turn of the century. Comment page 23.

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