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Business

Bayer Acquires Marketing Rights for Levitra

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said Monday it had acquired the marketing rights for GlaxoSmithKline's erectile dysfunction treatment Levitra in a number of countries outside the US for €208 million (272 million dollars). Bayer said in a statement that it had signed an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to buy the rights for Levitra in major markets in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Africa, Latin America and Canada. Previously, Bayer and GSK had shared the promotion of the drug in those regions. The German company said the deal would knock around €118 million off operating profit in the first quarter of 2005, but that the transaction would begin to have a positive effect on earnings from 2006. "The decision to buy back Levitra co-promotion rights is a logical step to enhance our pharmaceuticals business in Europe, Latin America and Asia," said Bayer Pharma chief Wolfgang Plischke.