) announced the submission of its Biologic License Application
(BLA) for meningitis B vaccine candidate Bexsero to the FDA for
marketing approval among adolescents and young adults within the
age group of 10-25 years.
The FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy designation to Bexsero in
Apr 2014. We note that Bexsero is already approved in Europe for
invasive meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B.
The Vaccines Division generated $1.4 billion in sales in 2013.
Earlier, Novartis entered into an agreement with
) in Apr 2014 for the exchange of certain assets.
Under the agreement, Novartis would divest its Vaccines business
(excluding flu) to GlaxoSmithKline for $7.1 billion ($5.25 billion
is upfront and up to $1.8 billion in milestone payments) along with
On the other hand, Novartis would acquire GlaxoSmithKline's
oncology products for $14.5 billion and up to $1.5 billion as
milestone payments. The agreement also provides Novartis with
opt-in rights to GlaxoSmithKline's current and future oncology
Novartis expects to close the deal with GlaxoSmithKline by the
first half of 2015. Novartis also divested its blood transfusion
diagnostics unit to Grifols S.A. for approximately $1.7 billion in
cash in Jan 2014.
The acquisition of GlaxoSmithKline's oncology products and
divestment of Vaccines business is a step in the right direction
for Novartis. It will broaden Novartis' portfolio and enable it to
focus better on its core capabilities besides contributing
immensely to the top line. Margins are also expected to get a
Novartis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors
looking for better-ranked stocks may consider companies like
). Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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