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Bayer to purchase Citracal
August 30, 2007

Sean M. Wood Express-News Business Writer

San Antonio-based Mission Pharmacal Co. has struck a deal to sell its Citracal brand to Bayer HealthCare, freeing family-owned Mission to focus on new products while continuing to make Citracal for Bayer.

The deal also provides Bayer a big slice of the U.S. calcium supplement market. Mission says Citracal is a $54 million over-the-counter product line. Neither side would release how much the deal is worth. But it is expected to close by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval. "For those of us who have been dealing with Citracal for years, we have a sense of loss," said Bob Ganguzza, vice president of marketing for Mission. "But it's a very exciting and positive day for us." Mission plans to focus on developing other health-care products such as prenatal vitamins, topical pain relievers and treatment for bacterial vaginosis, or BV.

"Awarding marketing rights to a well-respected, global company like Bayer is a coup for a homegrown company like Mission and will allow ... Mission to focus on extending their string of drug development wins, building on the recent (Food and Drug Administration) approval of Tindamax for BV," said BioMed SA President Ann Stevens.

"Additionally, the fact that Mission will continue to manufacture Citracal right here in our market speaks volumes about the quality manufacturing operation they run and the capabilities of our local biosciences sector," she said.

Bayer calls the U.S. the largest over-the-counter market in the world. Bayer has an opportunity to expand the Citracal brand globally with its worldwide marketing reach. "We are a global leader in vitamins, minerals and supplements and are always looking for the opportunity to expand in core categories like nutritionals and key markets like the United States," company spokeswoman Tricia McKernan said. Increased demand for Citracal could mean increased production for Mission and more jobs at the company's Boerne manufacturing plant, where 246 people work, Ganguzza said.

"I can't see anything but positive results coming out of this," said Dr. Arcelia Johnson-Fannin, dean of the Feik School of Pharmacy at the University of the Incarnate Word. "I have visited (Mission) and looked at the kind of research they've got going. They are concerned with the health of this nation."

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