Hospira has announced a definitive merger agreement to acquire drug development company Javelin Pharmaceuticals for approximately $145m.

Hospira expects to commence the tender offer for all outstanding shares of Javelin common stock on or around April 21, 2010.

The acquisition will provide Hospira with access to Javelin’s main product candidate, Dyloject, a post-operative pain management drug currently awaiting US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Hospira will also receive rights to the proprietary sedation agent, Precedex, which – like Dyloject – is marketed to anesthesiologists.

If successful, Hospira will have global rights to Dyloject with the exception of Europe, where rights are currently licensed to a third party. Hospira plans to market the product in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.