Biovail Corp.'s $409.5 million purchase of North American rights to Aventis Pharmaceuticals' line of Cardizem diltiazem calcium channel blockers may look like a lot of money to spend on a group of branded generic products with declining sales. But for Biovail, the acquisition is less about absolute sales than it is about the acquisition of a well known brand name under which the company plans to launch its upcoming cardiovascular products.

Biovail (BVF; TSE:BVF, Toronto, Ontario), which was planning to launch a once-daily version of diltiazem in the first half of 2002 under its