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Aceto selling generic for Diflucan for fungal infections, meningitis

The headquarters of Aceto Corp. in Port Washington

The headquarters of Aceto Corp. in Port Washington on Oct. 21, 2011. The company announced Sept. 30, 2014, that it has acquired three drugs in an $8.2 million deal. Credit: Barry Sloan

Aceto Corp. has begun selling a generic drug used to treat fungal infections and meningitis, the Port Washington-based company announced.

The drug, fluconazole, is an alternative to the brand-name Diflucan from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. The market for the generic is estimated to be about $60 million per year, according to the IMS Health data service.

Fluconazole is being sold by Aceto's Rising Pharmaceuticals division and is the fourth drug it has launched this year.

Company officials said Tuesday night that fluconazole stems from Aceto's April purchase of PACK Pharmaceuticals LLC for up to $100 million. The acquisition doubled the number of generic drugs Aceto has in development.

PACK products are used to treat ailments such as breast cancer, allergies, eye infections, arthritis, conjunctivitis and high blood pressure. The company, based in the Chicago suburb of Buffalo Grove, had sales of $46 million last year.

Executives said the purchase is part of Aceto's plan to expand beyond chemicals to the fast-growing drug business, which began with its 2010 acquisition of Rising. The company also makes ingredients used in medicines.

Aceto's earnings for the quarter ended March 31 were impacted by lower sales of drugs introduced last year that now are facing more competition. Sales for the Rising unit fell 6.5 percent, year over year, to $34 million in the January-March period. Profits declined 9 percent to $10 million.

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