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Big Pharma Merger Has to Meet EU Conditions

BONN, Germany (CN) - The European Commission approved Teva's acquisition of Cephalon, provided Cephalon divest itself of patents for the narcolepsy drug Provigil.

Both companies offer a generic version of the drug, which has the active ingredient modafinil and is used to treat daytime sleepiness for those with narcolepsy.

So long as Cephalon gets rid of its generic product, which is still in the pipeline, competitors would be able to emerge on the unified market, the European Union's executive body determined.

The commission launched an antitrust investigation over a modafinil "pay-for-delay" deal between the two companies in April of this year.

This past May, Teva paid $6.8 billion to acquire Pennsylvania-based Cephalon, which posted $1 billion in revenues from Provigil in 2009.

Israeli firm Teva is the world's largest pharmaceutical company.

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