GlaxoSmithKline is buying Biotene, the top dry mouth brand, from privately held Laclede for $170 million to strengthen its therapeutic oral healthcare portfolio.


John Clarke, president of GSK's consumer healthcare, says the move will leverage the company's global capability with dental and medical professionals and help diversify the company's healthcare business. The transaction is subject to regulatory review in the US and Europe, and is expected to be complete by early 2009. Global sales of Biotene grew by 17% to around $50 million in 2007; around 65% of its current sales are in the US. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is a serious problem associated with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's and Parkinson's disease. It can also be a side-effect of chemotherapy or radiation treatment.