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Novartis acquires The Medicines Company in a deal worth $9.7 billion

Published on 25/11/19 at 12:53pm

Novartis agreed a $9.7 billion deal to acquire the US-based The Medicines Company, it announced Sunday. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and Novartis will pay $85 per share.

This takeover comes following The Medicines Company presenting the results of successful late stage trials of its cholesterol-lowering drug inclisiran this month.

Novartis CEO, Vas Narasimhan, said the company was ‘‘excited’’ to enter an agreement that aligns with its goal to ‘‘transform Novartis into a focused medicine company’’ and has the ‘‘potential to be a significant driver of Novartis’ growth in the medium to long term.’’

This sentiment was shared by Marie-France Tshcudin, the President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. ‘‘This transformational, new investigational medicine has the potential to meaningfully address one of the largest areas of undeserved patient need. We believe our strong capabilities and global footprint can help drive broad worldwide access to this much needed treatment.’’

Novartis expects inclisiran will begin contributing to the innovative medicine division and overall company sales starting in 2021, assuming the transaction is completed early next year. Novartis shares have already been up 0.2%, premarket indicators showed.

The drug is administered through injection and reduces ‘bad cholesterol’, which increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, by up to 58%. The data came from the ORION-9, ORION-10 and ORION-11 trials of over 3,600 high risk patients with ASCVD and FH. In all three studies it found that the treatment created ‘‘potent and durable’’ reductions in ‘bad’, or LDL, cholesterol as well as having an ‘’excellent’’ safety and tolerability profile, with the drug’s twice-a-year dosage contributing to improved patient adherence.

The acquisition of The Medicines Company and its drug inclisiran bolsters Novartis’ cardiovascular portfolio, which also includes the investigational antisense therapy TQJ230 that it licensed this year from Akcea Theraputics for $150 million, and the heart failure drug Entresto.

Conor Kavanagh

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