Novartis Acquires CoStim Pharmaceuticals - Analyst Blog

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In a bid to strengthen its oncology research portfolio, Novartis ( NVS ) recently announced the acquisition of a privately held biotechnology company, CoStim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Based in Cambridge, MA, CoStim Pharma is a biotechnology company which focuses on developing the immune system to eliminate immune-blocking signals from cancer.

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. CoStim Pharma's acquisition will strengthen Novartis' position in cancer immunotherapy discovery programs.

The acquisition will add certain late discovery stage immunotherapy programs directed to several targets, including PD-1, to Novartis' pipeline.

We note that Novartis collaborated with the University of Pennsylvania in Aug 2012 to develop and commercialize targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) immunotherapies for the treatment of cancers. The collaboration agreement focuses on accelerating the discovery and development of additional therapies using CAR immunotherapy.

The company established the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) in 2003 to conduct research into disease areas such as cardiovascular and metabolism disease, neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, muscle disorders and ophthalmology.

Both NIBR and University of Pennsylvania plan to build the Center for Advanced Cellular Therapies (CACT) to develop and manufacture adoptive T cell immunotherapies under the research collaboration guided by scientists and clinicians from both the institutes. The construction of the CACT is expected to be completed in 2015.

We remind investors that Novartis boasts of a strong oncology portfolio with drugs like Gleevec, Sandostatin SC/Sandostatin LAR, Afinitor, Exjade, Zometa, Femara, and Jakavi among others.

Hence, the development of cancer immunotherapy agents will further complement the extensive portfolio of drugs.

Novartis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks include Allergan ( AGN ), Auxilium Pharmaceuticals ( AUXL ) and Forest Laboratories ( FRX ). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).



ALLERGAN INC (AGN): Free Stock Analysis Report

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NOVARTIS AG-ADR (NVS): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CAR , AGN , AUXL , FRX , NVS

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