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Pfizer to merge off-patent drug unit with Mylan, creating new drug giant

Pfizer said it will combine its off-patent drug unit Upjohn with Mylan, a $10 billion generic pharmaceutical company, to create a new business with its own off-patent branded and generic drug lines. The merger will bring together Pfizer medications such as Lipitor and Viagra with Mylan's EpiPen, used to halt life-threatening allergic reactions.

Pfizer shareholders will own 57% of the combined new company and Mylan shareholders will own 43%. The new business will have annual revenue of at least $19 billion in 2020, and will be led by Robert J. Coury, Mylan's chairman, Pfizer said in a statement.

The deal Monday arrives at a precarious time for big drug makers who are threatened by patent protection losses and lower-priced rivals. The two businesses are banking on reigniting their sales through the merger, with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla citing the combination of "Mylan's growth assets" with "Upjohn's growth markets."

The new company will be incorporated in Delaware and run operations in Pittsburgh, Shanghai and Hyderabad, India.

The combination is expected to close in the middle of next year.

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