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Actavis buys antibiotic vaginal gel from Valeant for $55 million

(Reuters) - Generic drugmaker Actavis Inc bought the global rights to Canadian firm Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc's antibiotic vaginal gel for about $55 million.

The two companies, which were reported to be discussing a possible merger, said if Actavis chooses to launch an authorized generic for the product, Metronidazole 1.3 percent Vaginal Gel, it would share the gross profits of the generic with Valeant.

The gel is a topical antibiotic for the treatment of a common bacterial infection of the vagina, and is expected to be launched in the United States in mid-2014.

A proposed merger of Actavis and larger Canadian rival Valeant was put on hold after the companies failed to agree to the terms of a deal, a source told Reuters last week.

Valeant was seeking to buy Actavis for $13 billion, the source said, which would have created a combined company with a market value of $35 billion.

(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore)