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Novartis divests dermatology and generic oral solids portfolios and part ways with Alcon Posted 21/09/2018

Swiss drugmaker Novartis is to divest the Sandoz US dermatology business and generic US oral solids portfolio to Aurobindo and will also part ways with eye care specialist Alcon.

Novartis announced on 6 September 2018 that it had agreed to sell selected portions of its Sandoz US portfolio, specifically the Sandoz US dermatology business and generic US oral solids portfolio, to Aurobindo Pharma USA, for US$0.9 billion in cash plus US$0.1 billion in potential earn-outs. This deal, says Novartis, ‘supports the Sandoz strategy of focusing on complex generics, value-added medicines and biosimilars to achieve sustainable and profitable growth in the US over the long-term’.

The Sandoz US portfolios to be sold to Aurobindo include approximately 300 products, as well as additional development projects and includes manufacturing facilities in Wilson, North Carolina, as well as Hicksville and Melville, New York. The deal is expected to be completed during 2019.

Alcon, the eye care division of Novartis, announced on 11 September 2018 plans to locate its future global headquarters in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, following completion of its proposed spinoff from Novartis. Alcon employees are expected to begin moving to the new Geneva location in 2019.

Novartis announced its intention to spinoff Alcon into a separately-traded standalone company earlier in 2018. The planned spinoff, according to Novartis, ‘would enable Novartis and Alcon to focus fully on their respective growth strategies’.

Novartis has also been busy in the courts during July 2018. In an effort to protect its top selling multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya (fingolimod) from generics competition, the company filed lawsuits against dozens of drugmakers seeking to market Gilenya generics. Novartis received paediatric approval for Gilenya in May 2018 after carrying out the PARADIGMS trial, a double-blind, randomized, multicentre phase III safety and efficacy study of Gilenya versus interferon beta-1a, designed specifically for children and adolescents with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

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Source: Novartis

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