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Novartis to Buy AveXis for $8.7 Billion

Thursday, April 12, 2018   (0 Comments)
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    Swiss pharmaceuticals company Novartis is spending $8.7bn to acquire AveXis, a US specialist in spinal muscular atrophy, a childhood wasting disease, in the latest big strategic move by its new boss.

Vas Narasimhan, who took over as chief executive earlier this year, said the cash deal to buy the Nasdaq-listed US company would broaden Novartis’s strength in neuroscience.

The deal followed last month’s sale to GlaxoSmithKine of the Swiss group’s 36.5 per cent stake in their consumer health joint venture for $13bn.

Mr Narasimhan has wants focus on Novartis’s “core” business areas — innovative prescription medicines, as well as oncology, generics and eyecare.

Novartis is paying $218 per AveXis share, which closed on Friday at $115.91. Novartis said AveXis’s lead product candidate AVXS-101 had the potential to be “the first-ever one-time gene replacement therapy” for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease which results in early death or life long disability with considerable health costs.

Paul Hudson, CEO Novartis Pharmaceuticals, said: “Bringing AveXis on board would support both our ambition to be a leader in neurodegenerative diseases and our Neuroscience franchise priorities to strengthen our position in devastating pediatric neurological diseases such as SMA.

“We relish the opportunity to leverage our expertise, our 70-plus year heritage in neuroscience and our global footprint to help AVXS-101 benefit high-need SMA patients around the world.”

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