Los Angeles Business Journal

Two L.A.-Area Operators Add Out-of-State Holdings

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: HealthWorks, IPC maintain expansion pace with acquisitions. By Deborah Crowe Monday, January 17, 2011

Two rapidly expanding specialty health care providers continued their growth last month with strategic out-of-state acquisitions.

Valencia-based occupational health center operator U.S. HealthWorks acquired the Fairbanks Urgent Care Center, bringing the company’s total number of facilities to five in Alaska and 151 nationwide.

IPC the Hospitalist Co. Inc., which operates hospital-based physician practices, said that it acquired group practices in Mesa, Ariz.; Overland Park, Kan.; and Aurora, Colo. near Denver. The North Hollywood company added 14 practices last year, for a total of 194 in 21 states.

Neither U.S. HealthWorks nor IPC provided financial terms of the deals.

Patent Victory

Amgen Inc. saw another success in protecting drug patents from generic competitors this month. The Thousand Oaks biotech won a U.S. court ruling that blocks Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. from selling a generic version of the Sensipar kidney drug for several more years.

U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle in Wilmington, Del., rejected Tikva, Israel-based Teva’s arguments that three Amgen patents were invalid. Amgen said the last patent extension will expire in March 2018.

Sensipar, approved by U.S. regulators in 2004, is a niche drug for Amgen. The drug lowers high levels of parathyroid hormones, a condition linked to heart and bone problems, in patients receiving kidney dialysis. It generated $320 million in U.S. sales in the first nine months of last year.

Staff reporter Deborah Crowe can be reached dcrowe@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 232.