With its planned acquisition of Anesta Corp. for $444 million in stock, Cephalon Inc. has put in place a major piece in its plan to become a profitable specialty pharmaceutical company. NSTA brings three key assets to the party: a marketed product, a drug delivery platform, and an oncology sales force.

Almost a year ago, CEPH (West Chester, Penn.) told BioCentury that it planned to build the company's product pipeline and sales force in the areas of neurology and oncology (see BioCentury, Aug.16, 1999). According to CEO Frank Baldino, NSTA fits the program by complementing CEPH's existing capabilities in neurological and oncological research, and leveraging its existing sales force in neurology.