Salix Pharmaceuticals

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Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Founded 1989
Founder Randy W. Hamilton and Lorin K Johnson, PhD
Headquarters Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Key people
Carolyn J. Logan CEO
Adam C. Derbyshire CFO
J. Michael Pearson [CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals]
Parent Valeant Pharmaceuticals

Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialist American pharmaceutical company. As of March 2015 it was the largest independent gastrointestinal specialty pharmaceutical company in the world. The company develops prescription drugs and medical devices that prevent and treat various gastrointestinal disorders.[1] It is listed in the Russell 2000 index. Salix is listed as having the most revenue per employee (at 1,400,846) by


Salix Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1989, in Sunnyvale, CA. From 1992-2001 the company was headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. Since 2001 the company has been headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, with Business Development and Intellectual Property functions in Palo Alto, CA. The founding products (balsalazide disodium and rifaximin) were in-licensed from two European pharmaceutical companies for development and commercialization in the USA. Balsalazide disodium was licensed from Biorex Laboratories Ltd., London in 1990, was approved by FDA in 2000 and launched under the tradename, 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 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 the two founding 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 February 2015 Valeant Pharmaceuticals announced it would acquire Salix for $15.6 billion, creating the U.S. leader in gastrointestinal drugs. The deal was completed on April 1, 2015.[3]


Approved drugs[edit]

Products marketed by Salix Pharmaceuticals include rifaximin, a rifamycin-derived antibiotic.

In development[edit]

The company is currently developing metoclopramide, a dopamine antagonist in the form of an orally disintegrating tablet (ODT).

On October 20, 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 has the exclusive right to explore and develop products for additional indications involving the diagnosis of gastrointestinal dysplasia and cancer[4]


  1. ^ "Company Overview of Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd". Retrieved 2012-05-03. 
  2. ^ Salix Pharmaceuticals Board Unanimously Recommends Rejection of Axcan's Revised Offer. Business Wire, May 27, 2003.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Photocure signs agreement with Salix Pharmaceuticals for Lumacan™

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