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Novartis buys dry eye treatment Xiidra in deal worth $5.3 billion

Published on 09/05/19 at 02:11pm

Japanese multinational Takeda Pharmaceutical has agreed to sell its dry eye drug Xiidra to Swiss firm Novartis in a deal worth as much as $5.3 billion.

Takeda has agreed to sell off Shire’s Xiidra for $3.4 billion upfront and as much as $1.9 billion in potential milestone payments.

The deal comes after Takeda’s acquisition of Shire catapulted the newly combined drugmaker into the top ten biggest pharmaceutical companies around the world.

Takeda now hopes to shed $10 billion worth of assets in an attempt to cut debt.

“We are working to strategically simplify and optimize our portfolio, while also rapidly deleveraging,” Takeda CEO Christophe Weber said in a statement.  

The deal comes after a number of big Novartis transactions in the previous year, as the Swiss firm streamlines its portfolio to focus more heavily on prescription drugs.

With $400 million in sales in 2018, Xiidra has been approved in Canada Australia, and the United States. However the dry eye treatment has yet to be approved by the EMA.

“Following closing, we will explore the opportunity for the other territories acquired,” a Novartis spokesman said to Reuters.

“We look forward to leveraging our well-established commercial infrastructure to bring this medicine to more patients,” said Paul Hudson, who heads Novartis’s pharmaceuticals arm., as he suggested Xiidra was “well positioned for blockbuster potential.”

Louis Goss

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