Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Nasdaq: SLXP) has agreed to purchase intellectual property assets of a medication that treats side effects caused by liver failure, in the latest pharmaceutical deal.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The assets, sold by Milan-based Olon SpA, include patents for amorphous rifaximin, an antibacterial medication aimed at reducing overt hepatic encephalopathy. The condition occurs when patients with liver failure experience altered states of consciousness, such as confusion, changes in sleep patterns or coma.

One of the patents has been issued, while the other is pending.

Salix, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., develops prescription pharmaceutical products to prevent and treat gastrointestinal diseases. The company makes a medication called Xifaxan that treats overt hepatic encephalopathy.

The health care industry is experiencing a period of increased M&A. Other recent pharmaceutical deals include Novo A/S’ purchase of Xellia Pharmaceuticals for $700 million in May, Aridis Pharmaceuticals acquisition of Kenta Biotech’s anti-infection treatment products and Bayer AG’s Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH buy. 

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