Pharma Firms Swap Assets

7th May 2014

Novartis is exiting vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline is shedding oncology drugs, and Eli Lilly & Co. is boosting its animal health business through a suite of multi-billion-dollar transactions with each other. All told, the big pharma companies expect the swaps to strengthen their market positions at a time when all three are struggling to grow.

In the biggest transaction, Novartis will pay up to $16 billion to acquire GSK’s oncology products business. The deal includes R&D related to GSK’s approved cancer drugs and rights to its AKT protein kinase inhibitor, currently in Phase II clinical trials. Novartis will also get commercialization opt-in rights to GSK’s oncology R&D pipeline for 12.5 years.

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