Salix Pharmaceuticals

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Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Founded 1989
Founders Randy W. Hamilton
Lorin K Johnson, PhD
Headquarters Raleigh, North Carolina
Key people
Mark McKenna (SVP)
Carolyn J. Logan (fmr. CEO)
Adam C. Derbyshire (fmr.CFO)
Parent Valeant Pharmaceuticals

Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an American specialty pharmaceutical company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is the largest Gastroenterology-focused pharmaceutical company in the world. Salix develops prescription drugs and medical devices that prevent and treat various gastrointestinal disorders.[1]


Salix was founded in 1989 in Sunnyvale, California by Randy W. Hamilton and Lorin K. Johnson.

From 1992 to 2001, the company was headquartered in Palo Alto before relocating to its current headquartered in Raleigh.

The company established a foothold in the industry with two main products, Balsalazide and Rifaximin, that were in-licensed from two European pharmaceutical companies for development and commercialization in the United States. Balsalazide was licensed from Biorex Laboratories Ltd. in London in 1990, was approved by the FDA in 2000, and launched under the trade name Colazal by Salix for the treatment of mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis. Before going generic in 2007, Colazal reached peak sales of $120M. Rifaximin was licensed from Alfa Wassermann SpA of Bologna, Italy in 1996 and approved by the FDA for the treatment of travelers diarrhea in 2004 and hepatic encephalopathy in 2010. Rifaximin is sold by Salix as Xifaxan, and generated 2014 sales of $650M.

In addition to its two original products, Salix acquired products from Dr. Falk Pharma, GmBH (Apriso, Uceris Foam), Norgine (Moviprep), Progenics (Relistor), Willmington Pharma (Metozolv). Salix acquired Crofelemer from Napo Pharmaceuticals, completed the Phase III development, and gained approval in 2013. Crofelemer, launched as Fulyzaq, is approved for the treatment of secretory diarrhea in HIV patients.

In 2003, the company survived a hostile takeover bid from Canadian pharmaceutical company Axcan Pharma Inc, now named Aptalis.[2] In 2004, Salix acquired InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. and its product OsmoPrep for $190M. In 2011, Salix acquired Oceana Therapeutics and its products Deflux and Solesta for $300M. In 2013, Salix acquired Santarus and its products Uceris (oral), Zegerid, Glumetza, Cycloset and Ruconest for $2.6B. Total sales of Salix products in 2014 were $1.1 billion.

In 2010, Salix Pharmaceuticals signed a strategic global agreement with Photocure for Lumacan. Lumacan is a photodynamic colorectal diagnostic intended to significantly improve the detection of precancerous and cancerous lesions in the colon through fluorescence diagnosis. In addition to the development of Lumacan for colorectal cancer. Salix holds the exclusive right to explore and develop products for additional indications involving the diagnosis of gastrointestinal dysplasia and cancer[3]

In February 2015, Valeant Pharmaceuticals announced it would acquire Salix for $14.5 billion, creating the world leader in gastrointestinal drugs. The deal was completed on April 1, 2015.[4] On the final day of trading, Salix shares traded for $172.81, giving it a market capitalization of $10.9 billion.


  1. ^ "A Letter From Leadership". Retrieved 2018-01-11. 
  2. ^ Salix Pharmaceuticals Board Unanimously Recommends Rejection of Axcan's Revised Offer. Business Wire, May 27, 2003.
  3. ^ Photocure signs agreement with Salix Pharmaceuticals for Lumacan™
  4. ^

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